10 Annoying Habits That Could Cost You Your Job

Dec 30, 2013 - Joe Matar

Whether you just landed a new gig or have worked at the same company for a while, you’d like to keep your job, right?

Being a hardworking and competent employee is the first step to holding onto your job, but staying on your boss’s good side won’t hurt, either. Chances are your boss has pet peeves, and you’re committing several of them without even knowing. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)

To stay on your boss’s good side, read on to find out the 10 things you’re doing at work that drive your boss crazy — then promptly stop doing them.

1. You show up late

Sure, everyone has been stuck in traffic or overslept once or twice. Being late a couple times won’t hurt you. But habitual tardiness could cause you trouble.

Your boss perceives your lateness as disinterest or apathy towards your job, which surely doesn’t make you employee-of-the-month material.

2. You’re a Negative Nancy

If you find yourself complaining about everyone and everything in the office, break the habit immediately. Workplaces with a positive atmosphere are the most conducive to productivity.

Your boss knows your complaining can be contagious and could bring your whole office down. Next time you have something negative to say, save it for your journal.

3. You need too much handholding

Your boss hired you because you seemed like you could get the job done. Presenting them with every little problem about each task demonstrates the exact opposite of why you were hired in the first place.

Your boss doesn’t have time to oversee every one of your tasks. Put on your problem-solving cap and figure it out. If you come off as incompetent, don’t expect to keep your job for much longer.

4. Your meeting etiquette sucks

While some meetings may be less relevant or interesting than others, maintain a professional demeanor no matter how long the meeting drags on.

Your boss will notice if you aren’t taking notes, if you’re disinterestedly scrolling on your laptop (i.e. checking Facebook) or if you don’t contribute when you should. Follow along. Don’t be caught off guard and make it obvious you weren’t paying attention when someone asks you a question.

5. You have a new excuse for everything

Whether you were late to work, forgot to send an important email or did a project incorrectly, don’t make excuses.

Your boss hates when you can’t take ownership of your mistake. It shows your lack of honesty and professionalism. Own up. It’s better to apologize (but don’t overdo it) and fix your mistake.

6. You’re just lazy

Nothing infuriates a boss more than a lazy employee. It shows you don’t care about your job or your company, making your boss wonder why they hired you in the first place.

Try to be diligent and prove to your boss that you value your job by working hard.

7. Your work BFF is your cell phone

While it’s commonplace to keep your phone on your desk or send a quick text during a break, don’t make it a habit. Your boss will notice if you’re preoccupied with your phone when you’re supposed to be working.

Keep your cell phone use to a minimum, and please turn off your obnoxious Miley Cyrus ringtone. Your officemates don’t care if you came in like a wrecking ball.

8. You’re a broken record of other people’s ideas

When you’re in a meeting or having a discussion, your boss wants to hear fresh, innovative ideas and opinions. If an idea was stated once, repeating it won’t make it sound any more new or different.

Your boss will notice if you consistently copy your coworkers’ ideas. It’s certainly something you don’t want a reputation for. Instead, try to think of a relevant new perspective or build on someone else’s ideas.

9. You smack gum like it’s your job

Your office is not the place for Bubble Yum unless you work alone or at home where no one will see or hear you. Gum chewing can be loud, gross and unprofessional.

If you interact with people, whether you’re speaking at a meeting or sitting in a quiet office, stick with a breath mint.

10. You’re a tattletale

If you can think of no other way to get ahead than to throw others under the bus, beware. Your boss can tell the difference between a concerned employee and a snitch. If you resemble the latter, your middle-school behavior won’t be tolerated for long.

Instead of being the one to bring bad news to your boss about someone else’s screw-up, turn it into a problem-solving opportunity.

Your daily actions could be ticking off your boss without you even knowing. Constant laziness, tardiness and even gum chewing could result in a pink slip with your name all over it. Be aware of habits and actions that could rock the boat at work — and avoid them at all costs — to improve your job security.

Savannah Marie is a social media enthusiast and writer from New York. She is the editor of her blog Mixios and a freelance writer for 12 Keys.