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Five Habits That Could Cost You Your Job

Today’s job market is as tough as ever, and there’s a lot of competition out there. That’s why it’s so important to think about the details. In my book “Jolt!” I highlight the great quote by basketball coach Ed Macauley: “When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win” That’s why regular practice eliminating these five negative habits could make the difference between being fired or being fired up:

1) Poor Spelling:   I struggle with this one, and the truth is, in an autocorrect world, we often forget the importance of expressing our ideas well. Incorrect spelling can completely change the meaning of your message, and often projects carelessness or ignorance. In the business world, there’s never an excuse for poor spelling. And when it comes to digital communication, never let speed be an excuse for writing poorly.

2) A Bad Temper:   The business world is rife with insecurity, and temper tantrums are exhibit number one. Whenever you blow your stack – for any reason – you’re transmitting the message that you’ve run out of ideas and don’t know what to do next. Take a deep breath, and keep calm. Anger is one of the most powerful ways to undermine leadership, so keep yours in check.

3) Being Late:   Being late tells everyone else that you don’t care about their time. It’s incredibly rude, and there’s simply no justification for it. Start showing up 5 minutes early and see the difference it makes. And by the way – stop being late “because everybody else does it.” Step up. Be a leader. Be on time.

4) Negativity:   Some people think being negative is just being realistic. Nothing could be more wrong. No one likes being around negative people. Constantly predicting failure doesn’t create success – it only drives people away. Start inspiring people – even during tough times, and see the difference it makes.

5) Bad Manners:   This category includes being rude, self-centered, having poor time management, and even social media addiction. All of those symptoms result in people feeling slighted or ignored – which doesn’t help in business. Look people in the eye and be in the moment. Learn to be grateful and simply be a nice person.

Leaders:  Any good additions you’ve experienced that we need to list?

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4 Comments

  1. I’d add: “Failure to keep learning”
    Whether you’re in a tech field or not, technology is changing every area of lifestyle and business at a rapid pace. It used to be more limited to tech fields, but now, almost every job field is becoming a continuous-learning field.

    Some of the most valuable people on a team are those who have studied and know proven solutions to upcoming problems that the business has yet to encounter.

  2. Number 2 was a biggie for me recently. Sometimes you need to just step away and reassess a situation before making a hasty response. It will save relationships and probably get you a call for more work. Like Phil says, “Just be nice”.

  3. I would add to 5) Bad Manners – Talking or chewing with your mouth full of food. It’s so hard to focus on what they’re saying with that rude distraction.
    And add to 1) Typos or not proofing, not just poor spelling.
    And shouldn’t 4) be “being negative is” or “think negativity is” (sorry, couldn’t resist that one)

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