Are these workplace behaviors sabotaging your career? Here's how to tell.

Your career is your biggest financial asset, and growing it right is important. That said, how you are in the office can impact your career, and habits, good and bad, play a great role in it. Habits, known and unknown, are behaviors so ingrained in us that it seems to come naturally and without thought. Often it the people around us that notice these, and bad habits put off people.There are also work habits that we do that affect our productivity and efficiency in the office. Identifying these habits is a big step in changing and improving ourselves and our careers.


Try to remember conversations and see if the words “I’m sorry” seem to come out of your mouth, even for things or situations that don’t need to have you apologizing over. The need to apologize comes from our upbringing when we are taught to be polite at all times. While there’s nothing wrong with being polite, excessively apologizing speaks to something more than politeness and respect. When we do it just to avoid conflict, like it would be better to apologize in advance even when you are not to blame for anything, or when it shows that we put too much value on other people’s opinions, then it can affect not only our careers but also our self-esteem.

When an apology becomes more than what it should be, you give off an image of ourselves that you are incompetent, and that you are not confident with who you are. It is a sign of insecurity and self-doubt, and that you seek the validity of others in everything. In the end, it will have you compromising yourself for the sake of pleasing others.


In a close proximity setting with people who spend long hours together, gossip tends to flourish. It seems like a natural thing to have a chit chat with a co-worker while on a coffee break, and talk about Michael from Finance who you just heard had been given his notice over something “confidential”. While chit chats are not a problem, and a little catch up while you are waiting for your photocopy to be done is a good way to maintain your social interactions and relationships with your office mates, gossiping is entirely another thing. Just because everyone might be doing it, and that’s it’s no big deal, gossips are actually toxic and harmful. A gossiper is someone who can’t be trusted, and you wouldn’t want that to be you! Besides, gossips ruin relationships and the office just doesn’t need any more drama, so be the hero and bravely, but politely tell people to stop doing it.

Having no personal and work boundaries

Are you one of those people who skip lunch just to get a bit more done? Or are you the one that answers every text and message from work, even when you are already in bed, about to go to sleep? Do you have the feeling that your work is eating away your time for yourself, that it seems like it keeps invading even those private times when you should be enjoying valuable time with family or friends? If so, then stop making people think that you are available at their beck and call. You need to set boundaries on work and personal times. If emails are sent at the end of a work day and do not necessarily need for your response, then stop yourself from replying. When you reply to a message that can be read and replied to the next day, you make people feel that it is okay for you to be reached at any time. They will think that it is okay for them to trample on your boundaries because they don’t see any boundaries in place. So the next time you get a task just as you are about to go to lunch, stop the urge to do it immediately, tell the person politely, that you are on your way out to lunch, and you will get back to him, as soon as you are back. While this is a case to case basis, please make the exemptions far lesser than those that fall within your boundaries.

Doing things the way it’s been done

Progress is about innovation and continued change. If it were not so, we would still be in the dark ages, with no progress in sight. While it is good that you are consistent in how you do your job, be open for learning and adapting to upgrade yourself to what is current and relevant in your industry and in your job. This is a fast paced world we live in, and innovations and development crop up fast. While it may be easier to stick to what you know, staying current will pay off more in advancing your career to new heights.


While it is unavoidable to do more things at once, keep in mind that this can actually make you less productive. This can make you distracted, and your deliverables ending up mediocre. In the end, it would have been wiser to put in more time doing tasks individually and coming up with good result. What you need about multitasking is that you are not actually doing everything at once, you are actually switching between tasks, and you are like a pie that end up with smaller cuts the more tasks you take on. The more tasks you have, the lesser their pie slice of your time, focus, and attention you give to it. Add in the confusion of going back and forth your tasks. Studies have shown that multitasking actually slows you down, makes you prone to more mistakes, more stress, and makes you miss out more on life. It is detrimental not only to your career, it also affects your memory, your relationships, and can even make you binge eat.

Your habits say a lot about who you are, and while you may not notice your habits, you can always slow down a bit and take time to learn your tics and see where you need to improve yourself not only to boost your career but also to improve your life in general.

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