Things That Make You Look Unprofessional At Work

We spend a lot of time at work, so it’s only natural to become comfortable with your surroundings and co-workers the longer you work in the same office.

But sometimes getting too comfortable in your work setting can lead to the formation of bad habits and a lackadaisical work ethic.

Here are a few habits to avoid falling into in order to maintain a good look at work and not appear unprofessional.

Being late all the time

We all run late sometimes. Life gets hectic and things happen. You get into your car to find you have a dead car battery, there is an accident on the freeway causing traffic to be at a stand-still, or a swarm of bees have entered your home due to a hive in the nextdoor neighbor’s backyard (yes, this actually happened to me.)

Whatever the reason is, just make sure these reasons don’t happen every day of the work week. Excessive tardiness can be a huge aggravator for most employers and can be the reason why you get passed up for a promotion.

Not only does constantly being late show you are unreliable, it also sends the message that you cannot manage your time or have respect for the time of others. Simple time-management is all that’s required to get you walking into work early and starting the day off on a better note.

Not replying to emails in a timely manner

In today’s world of remote offices and bi-coastal businesses, it’s imperative that you check your emails and reply to the sender in a timely manner.

What is considered timely might depend on your workload, but usually a response time within 24 hours of when the email was sent is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind. It sends the message that you care about your clients and their business.

Not having proper email etiquette, or addressing all items in the email

How many times have you sent a lengthy email with three questions to only receive a reply reading, “Yes.”?

If you are going to communicate with someone via email, make sure you take the time to fully reply to all the questions, issues, or concerns being addressed.

There is a reason this email was sent to you, and the person sending it needs information in order to complete the task at hand. Use proper grammar, type in a professional tone, and write a full response. It will save everyone the extra time it takes going back-and-forth trying to pull the answers out of thin air.

Making promises you can’t keep

Are you a “Yes” man? Do you say yes to everything without thinking about if you are able to fulfill the order? Well, don’t.

Saying yes to everything everyone asks of you will not only leave you completely overloaded, it will bite you in the rear end when you are not able to deliver.

There is no better way to loose clients than by making promises you are not able to keep, and people remember those who were not able to deliver the work they said they could.

Only take on what you have time for, and only say yes to jobs you have the experience and training to complete correctly and to the client’s expectations.

Spending too much time on your phone

We all have the habit of grabbing our phone during a break to keep us occupied, however, it’s one thing to be on your phone when you’re off the clock, it’s another to be on the phone when you have work to get done.

Unless a client in contacting you directly, keep the phone out of sight and Facebook closed until your lunch break. Too much time spent on your phone suggests that you don’t care about your job or getting the work done, and there are a lot of people out there who would happily take your place.

By keeping a professional appearance you not only show you’re capable of moving up the ranks, but that you will reflect well on the company and yourself.