Career Advice, Watercooler

9 Work Habits That Could Be Killing Your Chances For A Promotion

Chatting colleagues

It’s incredibly hard to recognize your own bad habits, especially when it comes to the workplace. You’ve probably been working the same way for years, so making changes isn’t easy. There are several super common bad work habits, however, that can be solved relatively easily once you acknowledge them. If you recognize yourself in any of these 9 career no-no’s, it might be worth it to consider changing your ways. After all, your future success depends on it.

1. Speaking Inarticulately

If you can’t go a sentence without saying “you know,” “um,” or worst of all, “like,” you need to get your speech habits in check. Especially common in newer grads, these speech patterns make it seem as if you don’t know what you want to say or you’re not sure if what you’re saying is right. This habit can be a hard one to break all at once, but becoming aware of it is half the battle. Try recording yourself giving a presentation and count the number of unnecessary words you use. You might be surprised!

2. Mixing Work and Pleasure

Meeting a partner at work may seem like the best thing ever—until it isn’t. While dating a colleague doesn’t always turn out badly, Glassdoor research found a correlation between those who had office romances and being unsatisfied at work. This dissatisfaction could be explained by the fact that the majority of office romances happen between younger, low-level professionals, but it’s still potentially distracting to have your love interest working in your office.

3. Gossiping

Gossip often occurs in the workplace when morale is low. When people are unhappy at work, they want something to talk about other than their own dissatisfaction with their job. But gossiping at the watercooler can actually lower morale further, especially if some of your coworkers, or worse your boss, find out they’re being talked about.

[Related: 7 Work Habits Millennials Need to Break ASAP!]

4. Smoking

It might sound crazy, but a recent study proved that smokers earn on average 20% less than non-smokers. It’s likely that this trend is due to education level differences between smokers and non-smokers, but it’s still worth revisiting the habit if it’s something you struggle with.

5. Showing Up Late

It’s just poor form. Coming to work late sends a message that your job is not a priority for you. Depending on where you work and what the company culture is like, this can be a major problem. Even if your boss is cool with you showing up after you’re supposed to, your coworkers may not be, especially if you work on projects together.  When it comes to meetings, it’s particularly important to be punctual and respectful of other people’s time. Don’t forget, your colleagues can easily become your superiors, so your reputation at work matters, from the mailroom to the C-suite.

[Related: Break These 5 Bad Office Habits]

6. Complaining

We get it, sometimes you have to do things at work that are less than ideal, but complaining won’t actually fix anything. In fact, constant griping could make your coworkers see you as a negative person, and, in turn, lead to less-than-stellar peer reviews or even a reprimand from your superiors.

7. Staying In A Job Where You’re Unhappy

Research has proven that job satisfaction is correlated with how happy you are at your company in general. If you think it’s too much trouble to find a new job where the company culture better suits you, think again. A better company culture fit could be the difference between moving up the food chain and staying put indefinitely.

[Related: Keep It Classy! How to Quit Your Job With Grace]

8. Being Too Chatty

Whether it’s Gchat, Facebook Messenger, or texting, chatting with your friends all day is a surefire way to make sure you’re not reaching your full potential at work. In the same vein, if you’re always making small talk with your coworkers instead of actually getting work done, you lose a lot of time. Plus, people (like your boss) may notice that you’re spending most of your time socializing rather than getting down to business, which could decrease your chances of getting promoted.

9. Procrastinating

Leaving a big project until the last minute means that you don’t get to spend much time working on it, making it hard to give your best effort. If you have problems with putting off work-related tasks until the last minute, try creating to-do lists with deadlines attached. That way, you can hold yourself accountable for what needs to get done in a timely manner.

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