Work ethics – six things you should not do if you want to be taken seriously at work

Everybody wants to be liked at work. Well, everybody wants to be liked in general, but for most of us, it’s work where we spend the most of our time. Since we see them every day, it’s especially important to maintain good relationships with our co-workers, which is not always easy to do. Here is a couple of things that could easily ruin it.


Being notoriously late

Things happen. Even the most punctual person can be late sometimes, but not all of the time! If being on time is the exception, it shouts that this person cannot be trusted. Arriving half an hour late each morning, spending another half hour having breakfast and coffee before starting to work is not only disrespectful towards your job, but towards your colleagues who are on time and doing the work while you are not.



Should I even elaborate on this one? I am talking about that time when your boss, or even your colleague asks you about something, you say it is so, then it turns out it is not, worse, it is not even close. This is bad for your reputation, bad for your professional relationships, and heck, even the personal ones in the office. You never should say you have done something that you have not, perhaps unless you are able to do it by the time they could find out you didn’t. Your safest bet is always not lying at all, though.


Being seemingly annoyed by new challenges

Is there a tiny bit more work, than usual? Is there a deadline coming up quicker, than you expected? You should adapt. Don’t become a nerve wreck who takes out their annoyance on their colleagues just because there is some work to do. Hey, that’s what jobs are for! If you don’t like it, you can always leave. Obviously this is not about your bad day every once in a while, all of us have those. I am talking about your general attitude towards heavier than usual workload. If you hate it, and can never make it work, that job is not for you.


Pretending you are working when you are not

Few things annoy your colleagues more, than seeing you texting or chatting with friends, browsing the web, or just looking like you have tons of free time when they are hard at work. Don’t think that pretending you are working makes it any better, though. It just shows. Want to ease the tension? Let them know you are free and ask if you could help anybody. They might say they are good, but this could surely take the thorn.


Being unwilling to learn

It’s the 21st century, the most important career skill is the ability to learn. Refusing upcoming opportunities to improve yourself interprets you don’t think in the longer perspective. Learning means more opportunities and valuable skills to be added to your resume. In all, it means moving forward instead of being stuck in one place. Constantly refusing these opportunities makes you look like someone who thinks they know everything and that there’s no room for them to improve further. No-one likes those people.


Wasting your colleagues’ time

Generally, we should always respect other people’s time! Either they are our bosses, our colleagues, our partners or clients, time is a finite resource and everybody has a limited amount of it. There is a time for private talks, but working hours are mostly for work. Notice when someone is overly busy and don’t bother them with chit-chats, gossips or even those work related stuff that you could most definitely figure out by yourself.


I am not saying that if you’re late once or twice, or refuse to go to a training (if that’s an option) due to scheduling, or need to discuss something non-work related during work you are in trouble immediately. I am very positive though, that if you have more of these traits on a permanent basis you can hardly expect a raving reference from your colleagues should you need one.


What do you think? Agree/disagree? Do you have anything to add to the list? Do you recognize people from your work environment? How do you (and your firm/organization) handle these issues? I am looking forward to hearing from you in the comments (or on Twitter or LinkedIn if that’s your thing).

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