My older brother once told me a story about how his ironing skills landed him his first major promotion. No, he doesn’t work at a dry cleaner; he’s an official in the golf industry, and years ago, when it came time for his boss to choose between my brother and a more qualified candidate who had been there longer, my brother won out. Turns out the other guy’s shirts were always dirty and wrinkled. Since my brother showed up earlier with a fresh-pressed, perfectly tucked-in shirt, he got the job. While you may not think anyone notices something like a wrinkled shirt, repetitive unprofessional habits could be destroying your career. A recent Inc. article touches on the subject and lists a bunch of bad practices you should avoid. Although each occupation has a different set of standards of what is considered to be unprofessional, most of the customs are somewhat universal. See what they are below.
- Showing up late.
- Dressing inappropriately.
- Practicing poor hygiene.
- Using inappropriate or rude language.
- Harassing, bullying, or distracting co-workers.
- Exhibiting threatening behavior (physical, verbal, written violence).
- Passive-aggressive behavior.
- Disrespecting your boss/manager/employer.
- Demanding special treatment.
- Refusing to do the work assigned to you.
- Stealing or taking things that don't belong to you (food, office supplies, etc.).
- Sabotaging your co-workers' work.
- Being overly criticizing of the work or behavior of others.
- Making unfair or inappropriate judgments about co-workers or the company.
- Poor communication (not returning emails or calls; failure to follow up).
- Poor work ethic or laziness.
- Failing to keep promises or repay favors to co-workers, customers, bosses, etc.
- Excessive complaining.
- Spreading rumors, badmouthing, backstabbing.
- Unwillingness to work with others.
- Displaying excessive uncalled-for emotions (screaming, crying, etc.).
- Bringing your outside problems and issues to work.
- Defensiveness or excessive sensitivity to constructive criticism.
- Displaying a consistently negative attitude.
Ensure that your shirts are nicely pressed by investing in a quality iron.
Have you witnessed a co-worker being unprofessional? What did they do?