WORKPLACE / JUL. 25, 2015
version 7, draft 7

4 Work Mistakes That Make You Want to Hide Under Your Desk

In our rush to fame and glory, we can get a little cocky at times. Here is a list of four mistakes that can impact your work life so dramatically, that you literally want to hide in shame rather than face the music that your actions have earned.

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1. "I Can Totally Do That!"

We all would like the prestige that comes with openly volunteering for a high profile project during a meeting where upper management was attending. The problem arises when the task that you thought they were talking about isn’t actually the one that you are able to perform.

A good way to avoid this is to stifle that urge to throw your arm up high in the air shouting, "Ooh! Ooh! Me! Me!" and ask to speak with them after the meeting to get more details on the project. You’ll still be seen as a participant, and you’ll also save yourself the embarrassment of standing there with your hands in your pockets while everyone else is working on their assigned tasks.

2. Falling Asleep in an Important Meeting

An icy chill rolls down your spine as you realize you’re dozing off, and you open your eyes only to see every single person attending the meeting is staring at you with expressions ranging from amusement to horror. You then realize that you drifted off a few seconds before an upper-level executive asked you a question, and the look on their face is not one of amusement.

Don’t be this person. Get to bed at a reasonable time the night before, avoid taking cold medicine right before a meeting, and don’t order that 15th shot of tequila while out with friends when you’ve got work the next day. If you’re feeling drowsy before the meeting, take steps to keep yourself awake. Drink some extra coffee or go to the restroom and splash cold water on your face, sit up straight, and don’t get too comfortable.

3. Sending Inappropriate Emails

You’ve typed out your personally amusing response to the co-worker that originally sent you the email detailing the new change or process that you spent the last 20 minutes expressing your displeasure about. You hit send, and just as the screen changes, you’re wondering why there are so many people in the "CC:" field. You then realize that instead of "Reply", you used "Reply to all" to send out your suddenly-not–so-amusing response.

A good rule to operate by is to ask yourself "Would I be completely confident in having HR or the CEO read this?" before you send anything out to anyone. If you can’t answer "Yes" to that, then you shouldn’t be sending it anywhere.

4. Badmouthing Your Boss on Social Media

Like most people, you want to make friends, expand your friends list, and generally be more socially popular. In your rush to popularity and fame, you hastily added a bunch of co-workers to your friends list, even though you barely know anything about them. Normally, this would not be much of an issue, unless of course you have spent more than a few nights typing out your thoughts and feelings about the boss you have, the company you work at, or their policies. Even though you didn’t type those posts out recently, they can still see them, and not everyone will always have your best interests in mind.

See Also: How to Tell Your Boss You’ve Made a Big Mistake

A little common sense and some personal restraint, and you’ll be able to avoid these mistakes. No one wants to be uncomfortable at work, and it is getting harder to get along with people these days. Don’t let yourself fall prey to one of these easily avoidable mistakes.

Get some sleep the night before, don’t get mouthy in emails or via social media, and try to make sure that you know what you’re capable of before volunteering to do it in front of everyone.

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