Bad Habits at Work: Are you Sabotaging Your Career?

We all have some bad habits – or at least things we could work on. When it comes to your career it is important to recognize some potential bad habits at work that could be sabotaging your future goals.

Are you guilty of any of the following?

Signs You May Have Some Bad Habits at Work

Time Management (or lack of)

This doesn’t just apply to using your time wisely while at work, but also includes getting to work on time, showing up to meetings on time and prepared, and not making a habit of leaving early. It’s extremely unprofessional to consistently roll in 15 to 30 minutes after everyone else has already been there. You will upset your coworkers and demonstrate that you are unreliable and don’t value your time or theirs.


Nobody likes a whiner. We all have work to do and most jobs have one or two aspects that we aren’t going to love – it comes with the territory. If you are an incessant complainer – especially if you don’t offer up solutions to the things you are complaining about, you will soon find yourself eating your lunch alone. This also includes badmouthing and gossiping about your work, the job, the company, your boss, and coworkers. Be mindful of who you are talking about and to whom you direct your complaining.

Blaming Others

No one likes to be thrown under the proverbial bus. Own your mistakes. Admit when you are wrong. We are human and not perfect. People understand and have much more compassion when you admit your mistakes and correct them, rather than try to blame someone else.

Not Asking Questions

If you don’t ask questions and get clarification upfront it typically ends up costing you time and delays later on. You will not appear to be unprepared by asking questions. You will, however, let your team down if you can’t deliver because you didn’t understand the assignment. Speak up. Set the expectations. Ask the questions.

Taking Care of Personal Business at Work

The corporate culture of your company will dictate how much personal business can be dealt with at work. Typically the occasional personal call or appointment is ok, but prolonged social media scrolling, online shopping, and web surfing are not ok. Keep your personal business for your lunch break and off-hours.

Lack of Follow Through and Focus

Being dependable is essential to any career advancement. If you scroll through your phone during meetings, multitask to the point of distraction, and don’t deliver on deadlines, people will notice. If you need a deadline extension and have a good reason for one, speak up as soon as you realize you will need more time. Good communication and managing expectations are important aspects of being a team player.

Too Much Cussing

Again, the acceptability of an occasional swear word will be determined by your corporate culture. However. excessive cussing in any situation is considered unprofessional. It also lacks imagination, there are far better and more interesting words you can use.

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