Office Etiquette: How Not To Get A Bad Professional Rep

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January 17, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown
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In the world of business your reputation is everything. If a bad reputation proceeds you from job to job, you may soon find yourself without one. According to career consultant Emily Bennington, author of Who Says It’s A Man’s World: The Girls Guide To Corporate Domination, there are seven ways you can ruin your profession career. She listed them for Forbes. Here they are plus a few of our own suggestions.

1)      Making Excuses: Don’t make yourself a “work victim” by constantly coming up with excuses when things don’t get done. If you don’t have all the info you need to do your job, ask questions and find the answers, says Bennington.

2)      Missing Deadlines: If colleagues and clients can’t count on you to meet deadlines, then you will be passed over for projects and increased responsibility.

3)      Not Being Prepared For Meetings: According to Bennington, “too often people prep for meetings at the last minute, making them appear disorganized and, well, less-than-brilliant.”

4)      Being Too Tit-For-Tat: If you’re always trying to bargain with your boss for the job to fit your needs and not the company’s needs, you will come off as not being a team player.

5)      Being Unresponsive: According to Bennington, not responding to people sends a confusing message. “[I]t makes coworkers wonder if you received the message at all, if you’re waiting to make a decision or if you’re just avoiding them,” she says in Forbes. Plus, it is just plain rude.

6)      Making Self-Deprecating Jokes: This can cause two things to happen, says Bennington. “First, you may gain the reputation of the office clown, meaning not a serious person and a distraction to serious work,” she writes in Forbes. “Second, you affirm your faults in the eyes of others, showing that you don’t respect yourself. It’s one thing to know how to take a joke and another thing to make yourself a joke.”

7)      Underestimating The Details: Not paying attention to details can cost you a client or blow a deal. It also shows you don’t take the work seriously.

We like to add a few of our own:

  • Behaving Inappropriately with Clients and Co-workers: Having a lack of respect for the people you work with will make you an office pariah.
  • Making Promises You Can’t Keep: Saying “no” sometimes is a good things. Don’t take on more work you can handle or offer to do a task that you are not qualified to do.
  • Being a “Yes” Woman: Your boss doesn’t need someone to always agree with them. If she hired you for your experience then she wants your input and opinion.

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