Whether you are an employee of many years or one that is just settling into their first job, there are certain things that you do not do while on the employer’s clock.
Unfortunately, too many workers try and push the envelope, sooner or later costing themselves the job, not to mention potential work with other employers down the road.
As you sit back and take stock of your current job situation (employed or unemployed), do ever think about some of the things that can ultimately lead to your dismissal? If the answer is no, perhaps this is the year that you spend a little more time reviewing your actions around the office, making sure that none of them will lead to a pink slip.
Among some of the no-no’s while on the clock:
* Too much time on the Internet – Before the Internet, many employees would gather around the office water cooler, perhaps meet up in the office kitchen or cafeteria to shoot the breeze, pass the time by gossiping about this or that employee or boss. In today’s Internet age, more workers are spending time web surfing than ever before. According to a salary.com survey, nearly 65 percent of workers log on to non-work related sites each day at work. While the number is small, three percent of that group report wasting 10 or more hours each week on the web doing non-work related activities. Meantime, close to 40 percent report spending an hour or less doing the same each week. Even though some reports suggest that spending 10 minutes or so a day on the Internet makes workers happier and more productive in the office, the guess is most bosses would not concur. If you’re going to surf the web at work, do it in a manner that minimally impacts your daily work responsibilities;
* Too much office gossip – Whether you do it in person, via email, instant messaging or some other form of communication, spending too much time gossiping at work can get you in a heap of trouble. One of the big mistakes is to be talking about another worker or even the boss, thinking the person or persons you are talking to won’t repeat it. If a boss determines there is a morale problem in the office because one or more employees are talking about others, that can lead to discipline or even termination for the source of the problem. If you’re having a problem with a co-worker or manager, take it to the HR department to handle;
* Too late for work – Okay, everyone oversleeps from time to time, has car or kid problems, even gets stuck in traffic or bad weather on occasion. That being said, are you one of those workers who makes it a habit of being late? Whether you have been with your company a month or a decade, being habitually late is a good way to find yourself on the outside looking in when it comes to your job. If everyone else (including the boss) can make it in on time, there is no reason you can’t too. It may seem like a minor detail, but being late too often for work and/or trying to cut out early too often is a recipe for discipline and even termination;
* Too little input – Lastly, are you one of those employees who rarely contributes at the company meeting? Do you say little or nothing when your supervisor asks you to contribute ideas for the betterment of the team? Finally, do you show little or no interest in partaking in company activities? If you do one or any of these, it can lead to problems in the workplace. While you don’t have to be the social butterfly of the company, contributing in different ways to the team should be a no-brainer. Even if it just means speaking up at departmental meetings, offering suggestions on how to improve the company, etc. let your voice be heard.
If this is the year you improve your situation at work, it could also be the year that you guarantee yourself a job for years to come.
About the Author: With 23 years’ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers a variety of career and small business topics, including finding the right cubicles for your office.