WORKPLACE / JUN. 26, 2014
version 3, draft 3

5 Workplace Habits That Make People Take You Less Seriously

You can’t advance in your career if people don’t take you seriously. Some of your bad habits are making you more likely to be the butt of the office jokes, rather than a top contender for the next big promotion. Stop doing these five things right away if you want your coworkers and boss to take you seriously.

Showing up late

Strolling into work five minutes late with a coffee in your hand is not a way to make friends and get ahead. It’s also not fair to the people who made an effort to get there on time. Don’t assume that it isn’t a problem just because nobody has said anything to you. If you’re late every day, people have definitely noticed, and they will be complaining about you behind your back. If you’re not going to bring a coffee for everyone, you need to show up on time.

Using poor email etiquette

One of the easiest ways to make people take you less seriously is to write your emails in comic sans. There are entire websites dedicated to hating on this font, so using it will make you look completely clueless. Use the default font for your email program, and if you must stray from the default, choose a basic font like Verdana or Arial. Comic sans isn’t the only email crime you can commit at work. Leaving your subject lines blank, or worse, writing something useless in the subject line like “hello” is also something you need to avoid. You don’t want to be known as the person who doesn’t know how to use email.

Complaining about your job online

Everyone knows someone that updates their Facebook or Twitter status multiple times a day, each time complaining about something that happened at work. (If you don’t know anyone like this, then you are probably this person). Even if your complaints are legitimate, nobody will take you seriously if all you do is vent online. If you have legitimate complaints, bring them up with your boss, not on Facebook. People have been fired for complaining about their jobs on social media sites. Even if you don’t get fired, you’ll quickly get a reputation as a person who spends the day whining, rather than working.

Dressing like a slob

The dress code doesn’t ban sweatpants with food stains, so they’re fine, right? Wrong. Even if you work somewhere with a lax dress code, you still need to put some effort into what you’re wearing. Otherwise, you’ll quickly be known as “dirty sweatpants guy”, a nickname that won’t help when you’re up for a promotion. At the minimum, your clothes need to be freshly laundered and unwrinkled.

Microwaving smelly foods

There are certain foods that reasonable people do not microwave at work, because everyone agrees that they smell awful. Ignore these unwritten rules at your own peril. Do you want to be known as the “fish microwaver”? No, you don’t. Strong smells can stink up entire rooms (or floors!) and take hours to dissipate. If you do this, you’ll look completely clueless, or worse, inconsiderate, which isn’t the impression you want to give your coworkers and boss.

Unless you want to be the laughingstock of your workplace, you need to break these five bad habits. You want to be thought of as a capable, reliable, hard worker, not the “smelly fish microwaver” who types in comic sans. 

 

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