Everyone is aware of the major red flags when it comes to work and bad behaviors. Constantly being late or having lots of ‘emergencies’ that mean you need to leave a little early don’t put you in a good position with the rest of the team and the boss, but what about some of the more subtle things that can undermine your performance at work without you even realizing it?
Venting to your colleagues – you know not to moan in front of your boss, but are you doing it in front of other colleagues? You know the potential effects of moaning to the boss all the time, but have you considered the impact of venting to colleagues constantly? You come across as someone who is always unhappy and ungrateful. This might make your colleagues not want to help you out when you’re having system issues or need a hand getting a presentation ready. If you’re working on a big project, you need the team around you to help and support you. What about the other side of that coin? Your colleagues aren’t going to be asking for your help either. You might miss out on some valuable opportunities for networking or learning some new skills because people avoided asking you to sit in on something with them. Think about how this could impact on your social life as well. If you work in an environment where there’s lots of outings and lunches, being excluded from those may also be detrimental in the long run. Keeping a positive attitude at work helps to keep things in balance – keep your venting to outside of work contacts.
Does your job include several repetitive tasks? Are these generally completed by Friday morning, meaning you can have a nice afternoon while your colleagues are struggling to get a project finished? Your manager will notice the fact that certain parts of the week are spent at a more leisurely pace than others around you. If you have the capacity to help out and don’t, this won’t go down well at performance review time and it will be hard to justify that raise you want. If you find you have some time to spare, why not ask if there’s anything that needs working on, or even better, use your initiative and step in to help out without being asked.
Are you the quiet type? That’s fine, not everyone can be the life and soul of the party. But if you sit at your desk all day, not speaking to others and generally keeping yourself to yourself, you’re missing out on opportunities to branch out and interact with the wider team. You might be okay with the team you work with, but what about other departments? Making an effort to branch out and meet others outside of your immediate office circle could mean that you get asked to join other meetings, or get included with the next big project. Sometimes, it really is about who you know, so don’t confine yourself – branch out and reap those benefits.
Ask for feedback – if you have a formal supervision policy at work, then you have a designated period to sit with your immediate line manager and go over issues and opportunities. This is the ideal time to discuss anything they think you can be working on, or anything they feel you might need to focus more on. This shows you are happy to discuss the things you’re not so great at, which shows you can take criticism on board. If you don’t get a formal supervision, there’s nothing wrong with asking your boss for a chat about your performance, but give them notice so they can prepare and really think about what they would like to see.
What about those extra hours you’re putting in? It can be easy to pass that off and think that the boss appreciates the extra time and effort you’ve been putting in, but a lot of people don’t automatically assume extra hours means more or better quality work. Your boss might be wondering why you need to be putting those extra hours in – why can’t you get your work completed in the allocated hours each day? There’s always a project or looming deadline that needs to be met, so the occasional extra hours here and there won’t trip you up. But if it’s a daily and a weekly occurrence, your boss might question your ability to manage your workload, especially if you’ve not flagged anything up to them about struggling.
You don’t want to be doing anything that damages your career, so follow our tips to to excel at work and keep moving forward.
How can The Wage Shop help?
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