There are rules of decorum in all aspects of life. The workplace is no exception – especially if your goal is to get ahead.
The question is, what won’t fly and why? Use these five tips as your guide.
1. Gossiping is a no-no.
Few things look worse than an employee who engages in office politics or one who revels in and spreads office gossip. It makes you look untrustworthy. It also indicates you have idle time on your hands, time that would better spent perfecting your job performance or taking on added responsibilities.
2. Don’t miss deadlines.
One of the cardinal rules of being a valuable employee is being a reliable one. That starts with completing your work on time and as expected. Missing deadlines is a poor reflection of your time and project management skills, and it suggests apathy rather than initiative. If you’re in the position of estimating a project’s timeline from the get-go, be realistic about it, and don’t oversell your abilities or skills. In the event a project snowballs or you find yourself unable to make it to the finish line on time, address that fact with your boss sooner rather than later, noting the specific challenges and an exact, realistic plan for reaching the project’s completion.
3. Don’t be dishonest.
Because being steady and reliable is so key to professional success, make sure you’re honest about yourself. Bluffing and misrepresenting your skills will only land you in a world of trouble, one where you’re unable to suitably complete tasks. What’s more, you’ll peg yourself as someone who isn’t what they seem.
4. Don’t play the blame game.
Although the temptation is there to pass the buck when something goes wrong, taking responsibility and decisive action is what’s required when things are awry. Blaming a colleague reflects poorly on your performance as well as on your constitution as a member of a larger workplace community.
5. Avoid sloppiness.
The truth is, appearance matters – big time. Don’t show up to work in unprofessional attire. It undermines your credibility and calls into question your dedication to an organization. Doing so also may cause workplace distractions, and that’s a problem that extends beyond your fashion sense (or lack thereof).