Do you feel like your career has stalled or your efforts are not appreciated? If so, it might be worth checking in to see how much is self-sabotage. It might surprise you to find out that there are some relatively small but effective things you can change right now to kickstart your career again. Here are some of the most common things people do to undermine themselves in the office.
- You’re always late
If you’re chronically late for work or meetings, it sends a strong signal that you are not committed to the job. But that’s not all because you also let your colleagues down if you don’t show up to meetings on time. And, when you do get there, you’re stressed, hot and flustered. Being habitually late is unprofessional.
- You don’t dress the part
Looking like you belong is an unspoken but important part of teamwork. If you dress too casually for your office environment, or worse if you look disheveled, scruffy or even unwashed, you’re not just signaling that you don’t belong, you’re saying you don’t want to belong.
Up the other end of the scale is overdressing for the office. There’s no need to wear your best clothes to work or to look like you’re en route to a photo shoot or a gala. Take your cues from your colleagues and managers, and dress to suit the office.
- You’re negative and unhelpful
It’s easy to sit there and criticize or point out the bad grammar in your colleagues’ work. You can be a critical friend without being relentlessly negative, especially if the point of your critique is to be helpful. Work with your colleagues to make an idea or project work. Don’t just point to problems, help to find solutions
Negative behavior can also spill into your interactions with your colleagues. Make a conscious effort to be nice. Greet your colleagues when you arrive in the morning and when you leave at night. Wash up the coffee cups in the kitchen and help with the regular office fridge clear-outs.
Be thoughtful about how your treat your office space, especially if it’s open plan. Don’t leave sweaty gym gear lying around and try to keep your desk clutter to a minimum.
- You overshare and gossip.
Possibly the most important rule of working in an office is never, ever gossip or talk about colleagues behind their backs. You can be friendly without sharing everything in your life or speculating about other people.