No matter how nurturing your boss is, only your mom should be telling you off for of your bad habits. Without a penchant for change, these bad habits can have serious repercussions on your career. Read on as we explore the biggest culprits in behaviours that are dragging down your personal and professional growth.
Yep, you saw this coming. Checking social media at work is something most of us are guilty of, but that doesn't make it okay, as it is a serious problem for workplace productivity. According to the Telegraph, the average American worker is on social media for 1 hour 40 minutes every day - that’s almost a quarter of his / her entire time at work! Is liking your friend's post about her breakfast really a good use of your time?
Life sometimes takes over, and a supportive team should accommodate to issues that inevitably arise. But if you’re regularly putting your personal life before work, and abusing the flexibility that your job allows, then you should expect to be called out on it. An emergency, and taking an afternoon off to return a pair of shoes you bought over the weekend are two completely different things.
Some believe that keeping their Inbox at zero is the ultimate show of productivity, but it can actually have the opposite effect on your performance. Blindly responding to every email that comes in reflects an inability to prioritise, and could be directly affecting your productivity. Of course, this habit depends on the nature of your job, as some positions require quick email responses.
If you often find yourself having to repeat or clarify what you’re saying, it might be a red flag that you’re not communicating effectively with your colleagues. While miscommunication is commonplace, inaction to improve oneself in this regard is not. We all use language differently, and habits in communication from our school days often stick. But to succeed in a workplace environment, you must be adaptable to the nuances of your colleagues, and change the way you’re accustomed to communicating in order to get things done.
No one likes making difficult decisions, but putting it off only further aggravates the initial problem, and could cost you important deals or projects. If you find that an issue is taking a particularly hard toll on you, then ask your colleagues for support. There’s a science to decision-making (you can check out our post here), so rather than allowing yourself to cave under pressure, try to work through that hurdle through training your mental capacities. Remember: a wrong decision is better than no decision.
We often forget just how important body language is in our communication. While it’s subconscious on our part, others may be receiving a direct message based on how we carry ourselves. Slouching makes you appear defeated, weak handshakes makes you appear insincere, and lack of eye contact makes you appear rude. While you may not be any of these things, it’s important to be conscious of what your body is telling others because, as they say, actions speak louder than words.
We all have our ups and downs, and a supportive work environment is one that will stand by you when you’re feeling low. But if you regularly find yourself to be moody or prone to temper tantrums, it’s important to make efforts to change this rather become complacent to it. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, or life coaching, the office is no place for mood swings and negativity.
On the flip-side, being overly outspoken or bringing personal tasks to work are behaviours that always reflect badly on you. While it’s important to have a close-knit team, not having a filter can have a negative effect on working relationships, or your career when certain people are at the receiving end. Boundaries are drawn in the workplace in order to avoid offending others, and to keep the team to a schedule. This means: nothing hygiene-related (i.e. clipping your nails, brushing your hair, applying deodorant, etc.) If you can’t respect these practices, then it’s unlikely your colleagues or boss will wholly respect you.
You may think that braving a day at the office despite an illness is admirable, but you don’t get any brownie points for getting the rest of the office sick. Plus, there’s nothing more irritating than someone sniffling all the live long day. Take time to get the rest you need, and your colleagues will thank you for it.
Welcome back to Mandy's In-House Notes, a twice-monthly column touching on all things brand-building, entrepreneurship and female-empowerment related, from the mind of Mandy Pao.
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Cover image: Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash
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