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Archive for the ‘Stop’ Category

16 Things Not to Do at Work

In ! Jen, Employee Tips, General Work, Stop on Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 3:33 am

16. Social media

Unless you work in media or public relations, or are using social media for a legitimate business purpose, don’t Facebook or Twitter at work during regular work hours. Remember that social media defaults to showing date/time stamps on all postings.

Sending tweets has the potential to raise eyebrows about whether you have enough to do and how you choose to spend your time while on your company’s clock. Additionally, those who walk past your monitor and see Facebook on your screen may assume you’re always on, even if it wasfor only sixteen seconds.

15. Date coworkers

Unless you are a Hollywood celebrity.

What if s/he’s your potential soulmate? One or the other of you should quit.

If you work at a behemoth of a company, maybe ok, so long as all four of the following criteria are met: 1) you are in different departments, 2) you have no potential to see one another, and 3) you have no potential to work with one another on a project (or remove yourself from said project), and 4) you don’t plan romantic lovey dovey encounters at work.

14. Bully

Some may think they want the reputation of being “the one-who-always-gets-her-way-by-whatever-means-necessary.” But this is a euphemism for asshole and assholes always get their comeuppance, one way or another. People have long memories for mean-spirited and bully tactics.Don’t engage in them.

13. Gossip

This is probably the #1 career limiter on the list and one that’s hardest for people to manage–for themselves or for people who report to them.

Sharing rumors and gossip are the frequent lubrication of social interaction. If you’re going to gossip about people, share stories you’d want people to be sharing of you.

12. Cry

Feel tears welling up? Excuse yourself and leave. Those who say that crying at work makes you more human and sensitive and in touch with your emotions are only trying to make you feel better. It is a sad fact, but People In Charge will associate your inability to control tears at work with an inability to manage emotions at work. Keep it together.

11. Swear

Unless you are in safe company (e.g. with work pals), don’t swear. True, the descriptor hairball lacks the severity of situation that clusterfuckendows. But many take genuine offense to vulgarities in the workplace and will immediately discount the message because of the profanities within, even if the message is solid.

10. Discuss emotionally-charged topics

Unless you are in safe company (again), don’t venture into emotionally- or politically-charged discussion territory. Gay marriage, abortion rights, religion, guns: these are topics that could raise the temperature of a room and are fun to discuss….outside of work. Stick to bona fide work-related topics, traffic or the weather.

9. Assume you know the whole story

I would hazard that more than half of employee relations problems would barely surface if only people would actively seek to understand or hear more of the story. Ask: “Help me understand this better. Here’s how I see it: [share your POV]. What am I missing?”

Don’t be the manager who loudly confronted his employee in the hall:

Manager: “This is the FIFTH time this week you’ve waltzed in here late! What am I supposed to think?”

Employee: “We just moved my friend into my house. She has late-stage cancer and every morning it gets harder to leave her.”

Doh! Shame on the employee for not calling in late. And double shame on the manager for: 1) not approaching the employee sooner, like the first tardy. It would’ve been easy to say that first time: “Hey, next time give a call so I know to expect you in later.” 2) not discussing this with the employee in a less public setting. Unfortunately, this manager then was sometimes referred to as “that guy on 4 who yelled at his employee because she once arrived late and she was caring for a dying friend.”

8. Kvetch

Don’t complain about the same thing more than twice to your manager. Instead, arrive with solutions and commitment to act on them. And if you’re in a position of power, don’t complain about the same thing more than once.

7. Ask for a promotion without good, really exceptionally good, reason

Don’t ask unless something has significantly changed in your performance and in your job. If you’ve taken on additional responsibilities—significantly, substantially more, like >40%, then approach your manager and say: “At our next 1:1, could I talk with you about how my job responsibilities have grown over the last year and how I could be recognized for it?” You want a thoughtful answer, so give notice that you’re wanting this discussion; don’t catch him off guard. Do your homework and review your current job description, and if available, the job higher than your own. Describe visible and verifiable behaviors and projects that go above and beyond–don’t go in thinking you should get promoted “because you deserve it” or because you work just as hard as Joe with the higher title. And be patient; some organizations try to only forward planned promotions once or twice a year to gate payroll costs.

6. Bluff about quitting

Don’t do it unless you are willing to be called out on your bluff. True story which happened in happier economic times: Employee says “I’m so frustrated I am going to quit!” Manager: “I think we have things in a state where we’d be able to transition alright. Would you prefer to work out the two weeks or if you’d like, we could pay you out two weeks and you could leave today?”

5. Steal

This includes fudging timecards, taking office supplies and taking credit for others’ work. Enough said.

4. Not give credit where credit’s due

Share the limelight with those who deserve it with you. Not only is it good for the soul–yours and theirs–but the next time around you’ll find it easier to persuade others to help you. Recognition, appreciation and good strokes go a long way. Public recognition, appreciation and good strokes–given in a sincere, heartfelt manner–will be remembered long after any $50 spot bonus is spent.

3. Be disrespectful to admins

Being disrespectful, period, is bad. But I have found that administrative assistants frequently get the worst disrespect and completely unwarranted, at that. Treat them with as much as respect as you would the person they support. Need more convincing? Consider that admins control calendars, information, and access. And they are typically exceptional at networking with other admins.

2. Throw someone under the proverbial bus

It may save you in the immediate short-term, but karma is a bitch.

1. Lie

Your credibility is the most important currency you’ve got to work with on the job. Don’t jeopardize it.

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