The Arnold Group (TAG) - Job Seeker Blog
The Arnold Group (TAG) - Job Seeker Blog
Habits You Don’t Realize Make You Look Unprofessional
Article Categories: Career Advice
Posted on Monday, May 11, 2020

Habits You Don’t Realize Make You Look Unprofessional

Every workplace is different, with a unique set of common practices and norms. As an employee and team member, it’s up to you to appropriately navigate your workplace culture and determine what’s acceptable and expected.

Regardless of your company and its internal culture, however, there are a number of bad habits that may leave your team members viewing you as unprofessional. Make sure you’re conveying the most professional image of yourself by not engaging in any of these bad workplace habits:

  1. Excessive Absences
    Time-off policies are in place for a reason, and no one expects you to never miss work. But when you’re taking advantage and calling in sick all the time, your team (and boss!) is going to notice.
  2. Tardiness
    We get it… life happens. Occasionally running late is unavoidable, but a majority of the time it’s preventable with a little better planning. Your team will understand if you’re late one morning, but they won’t understand if you’re late most mornings.
  3. Leaving Early
    Having to leave early every once in a while is usually no problem; maybe you’ve worked out an exception with your boss that you come in 20 minutes early every Friday so you can leave 20 minutes early to pick up your kids from daycare. However, when it becomes a regular habit without good reason, it reflects poorly on you. Leaving early – especially when others are coming in early or staying late – gives the impression you don’t care about your team members, or the work you’re doing.
  4. Complaining
    We all face challenges and hardships, but not all of us incessantly air our grievances. No one wants to listen to someone complain for an entire shift, and doing so comes off as unprofessional. It also shows you’re unaware of the needs and feelings of the people around you.
  5. Lack of Listening
    It’s good to ask questions, especially to gain clarification and a better understanding of a task or skill, but it’s important to demonstrate that you’re listening and learning. Asking the same question every day shows you aren’t listening. Likewise, asking too many questions about every minute detail of a project demonstrates a lack of understanding, or a lack of confidence in your abilities.
  6. Messiness
    Regardless of the level of cleanliness maintained in your home, show respect to your coworkers and company by cleaning up after yourself and keeping shared spaces tidy. Likewise, an overflowing trashcan or war-zone of a desk shows a lack of organization and respect, and only serves to reflect poorly on you.
  7. Arrogance
    You don’t know everything… and that’s OK. Even as an expert in your field, it’s important to only be as confident as your true scope of knowledge and not exaggerate your skillsets or expertise. Doing so not only demonstrates arrogance, but also a lack of self-awareness, and neither quality is an asset in the workplace.
  8. Bragging
    There’s a fine line between knowing the work you put out is good, and telling the universe you’re great. A high sense of self-worth and self-confidence is an asset to you in the workplace, however bragging about your abilities and showing off is not.
  9. Underdressing
    No matter what your company dress code is, it’s always better to be over dressed than under dressed. Your appearance is the first thing someone will notice about you; putting little-to-no effort into your daily dress and looking like a slob will make others associate you with being one… even if you’re not.
  10. Swearing
    While some workplaces are more relaxed than others when it comes to appropriate language, err on the side of caution and don’t go overboard. You want to be considerate of peers who may be more sensitive to certain types of language, while also considering the personal and professional image you want to convey with your communications.
  11. Procrastination
    Just because you have a deadline, doesn’t mean you should wait until right before it’s due to work on and submit a project. You may have other team members waiting on your work who will notice if you’re not prioritizing correctly. Unless you have a good reason, procrastinating on projects is highly unprofessional.
  12. Poor communication
    One of the most important skills to have is communication. Whether it’s writing an email, speaking during a meeting, or just making a quick phone call, consider how you’re coming across to your audience… you probably don’t want to speak to your coworkers in the same casual way you speak to your best friend.
  13. Gossiping
    Remember the age-old adage: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. No one likes a gossip, and talking poorly about someone only reflects poorly on you. Not to mention it’s a guaranteed way to ensure your team members won’t trust you.
  14. Getting too personal (personal calls)
    Taking an emergency call is one thing, but generally chatting on the phone should be avoided while you’re on the clock. Personal communications, like phone calls, texting, and social media, should be saved for personal time.
Article Categories: Career Advice