Bad habits, breaking bad habits, professionalism, young professionals, career advancement
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 14 December 2016
Make it, Now Break it: 10 Bad Habits that you need to get rid of!
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Marianna Dowell
Branding Intern

In life, everyone has bad habits that they need to break free of. It’s a simple fact of life. However, in the workplace, these 10 bad habits can actually hurt your overall professionalism

1) Whining

Whining is one of the most common bad habits that young professionals suffer from. Sometimes life is hard, and in the workplace it can be even harder. For example, you could get passed up for that promotion or position on a team when you know that you worked the hardest. It sucks, but whining and complaining about it is immature. Long story short, if you feel that something is unfair or you simply do not want to do it, just take a moment to breath and then talk about it. Don’t whine. 

2) Being Messy in Common Areas

I put this second on the list because many young professionals do not have stay-at-home jobs. At one point or another, you will most likely work in an environment with common areas. Don’t be that person who leaves the dirty coffee cup on the counter, or the used napkins at the tables. Clean up after yourself, and if you see something that someone has missed pick that up too! Doing this works on your interpersonal skills, and makes for a harmonious working space for you and your co-workers. 

3) Playing Hooky

In high school, you could usually get away with coming in a few minutes late, or going on a 15 minute “bathroom break”. In the professional workplace, playing hooky is very un-professional. Your workload is still going to be their no matter how long you avoid your computer. Stay diligent, and show your determination. 

4) Gossiping with Co Workers

In a work environment, coworkers can sometimes act like kids spreading the local office gossip over lunch or at the end of a long day. While you might want to join in with a tidbit here or there to make a long day seem shorter, it isn’t good to get tangled up in gossip. While effective communication is a great soft skill, things could be talked about that could be personal. It’s better to not get involved at all. 

5) Procrastination

The dreaded words, “don’t procrastinate”. I’m sure that every student has heard these words at least once in their life from their parents or their friends. Sometimes that end of the year project sneaks up on you even though you have had 6 weeks to work on it. It’s better just to do your work, and do it early. That way if anything “sneaks up on you”, you have time to finish everything. In your down time, instead of finding non-useful things to do, you can always finish some of those course modules you missed in your Prosky training courses

6) Using slang

Some terms that you may use outside the job, may not be appropriate for use on the job. Words can be very specific, or even offensive to some people. It’s easier to just keep everything PG at work so you don’t have to worry about being seen as uncaring. 

7) Being Alone

ALL the timeSee some people (including me), categorize themselves as introverts. I understand that it’s sometimes hard not to just do your work and hang out by yourself, but the situation is not always like that. Collaboration is often needed in the workplace, so it would be a good habit to break if you find yourself avoiding your co workers or your supervisor. 

8) Using Off-the-grid Humor

While you might think a joke about a particular religion or race is funny, others might think of it as extremely rude. A rule of thumb with jokes in the workplace, is to keep them G-rated. Think knock-knock or Popsicle stick jokes. 

9) Being Noisy

Noise in the workplace is a given, unless you work at a library. However, you should always be mindful of others because you never know who might be working on something important or those that are sensitive to loud and sudden noises. It’s a matter of respect. 

10) Being Unprepared: “Needing a Moment”

Being unprepared is probably one of the most cringe-worthy bad habits. Coming to work with a folder bursting with unorganized papers and reports is just asking for disaster. It is definitely not professional to go anywhere like this. They best way to prepare for this is to use some of your hard-won technical skills and input your documents online or set a calendar that sends alerts to remind you of important events throughout the day. 

Remember that it’s okay to slip up and make a few mistakes every once in awhile, but making them bad habits can eventually hold you back. Not only are bad habits time-wasting, they are often extremely annoying for your co-workers. The best thing that a  young professional can do to break these bad habits is to tackle them one at a time. I know that it is sometimes easier to imagine yourself breaking all your habits at once and becoming the best person ever, but it’s easier to come up with a game plan. This week make a list of your own top 10 bad habits. Figure out small ways to break your toughest bad habits. For example, you could set up a reminder after lunch to wash and put away that dirty coffee cup or make sure that you are organized using sticky notes so you don’t miss that important morning meeting.

So, are there any bad habits that you have a hard time kicking to the curb? Talk about it in the comments below! And check out ProSky’s homepage for more information on training courses, projects and how to gain more soft/technical skills!