Are you unknowingly undermining your own professional success at your workplace? Well, you are facing a lot of hurdles on your path to success in the corporate world, and there is an urgent need for to you change some of your habits that you think to be ok for living a normal life. Following are five things that people do at the workplace that harm their reputation and limit their opportunities for advancement.
Don’t Wear Logos
The first thing you should never do at your workplace is going to be one that you might not like us mentioning, and trust us, we wish it was different. But still, it’s necessary to tell you how it is. Flashy Designer Logos have no place at work.
You know, the ones we’re talking about; the big audacious logos that scream, “This cost a lot of money!!”.
It doesn’t matter if you just love the luxury moment, you have the resources and invest in those pieces with the intention. Because your coworkers messed up money mindsets are going to come into play, and that’s going to create a problematic perception issue for you.
And of course, they’re not going to say it to your face, they’re going to say it behind your back. Like I have heard more times than I could count.
Especially if you’re a young, professional female, a lot of people could come in with their attitudes that you’re unwise with your money. They’ll think that you cannot afford it, that you’re just writing up your credit card debt because you’re so immature, or that you just have low impulse control. And this is showing how your low impulses are going to lead to bad decision quality by you at your workplace.
We know that it doesn’t make sense, but this is an actual thing that people say. So we need to deal with it.
On the flip side, there also are some conversations where they think that person has enough money. If you could afford that Chanel bag, you don’t need a pay raise.
Perhaps, this is a particular problem if it’s your boss saying it since they’re going to control how big your pay increase is.
People aren’t just weird about money. They’re also weird about demonstrations surrounding money, wealth, and whatnot.
That all said, if you’re a design enthusiast, and you personally love luxury labels, you can still wear them to work. What we would suggest is just following a couple of parameters.
So, first, when you are wearing logos, err towards the most subtle logo. You can also opt for unbranded logo-free pieces. There are a lot of designer pieces that you can invest in and fully enjoy in the office with no one being any wiser.
One exception that I would put into this role is that if there is a level of logos being status quo, or there are certain status quo pieces, then this advice wouldn’t apply.
For example, if you’re a New York City corporate girlie, you either have the Louis Vuitton never full or the YSL sac du jour, or both. And because these are bags that everybody has and they kind of end up blending in. So even with an LV logo all over the place, those we don’t think are a big deal.
But that’s just our piece of opinion, and we’d love to know what you think.
Don’t Get Tipsy With Your Team Members
Now the next thing that you should never do at the workplace will apply to everyone, that is, every industry, every job, and every level of employment: Do not get tipsy with your team.
Drinking culture has really become embedded in workplace culture, especially within certain industries. For example, in the tech industry, and in particular, in the startup space, where having a beer keg on hand is one of the employee benefits.
And in addition to a game of beer pong at the end of the day, informal happy hours after work and formal team events all tend to have a lot of alcohol, and everyone’s enjoying it. So why shouldn’t you?
Well, have you ever been to an event where one of your coworkers was stumbling and slurring and kind of made a big embarrassment of themselves? Would you want to be that person? Probably not. Because that person is going to have some reputation rehab that they need to do in order to be taken seriously by everyone.
Again, there are a few things that you can do to avoid making this mistake at your workplace and have people not even notice it, because unfortunately, too often, everyone is enjoying drinks, and there can be a lot of pressure for you as well.
So first, know what your limits are. For example, for some people, it’s one because he or she may be completely lightweight and if they have any more in the one they’re probably going to say something that they won’t necessarily say anyways, because of the whole inhibition thing.
Once you reached your limit, just stick to non-alcoholic beverages, or just walk around with the same drink the whole night – people will not notice. A professional female tech employee once told that when she was pregnant and had gone to a team event and she didn’t want people to know that she wasn’t drinking because she didn’t want to explain the people around her state yet. So, she got the bartender on her side and explained the situation and she told him that no matter what she ordered just served her a diet coke. And he did that and no one noticed that at all.
Of course, you can also just say that you don’t want to have any more drinks or don’t want to drink, that is totally ok too. And another thing that can be very helpful, especially if in your workplace culture, these events kind of get really messy as the night goes on, is set a time when you’re going to leave by. Whether you say you have to wake up early because you have spinning class or plans with other friends you need to get to. Exiting by a certain time can also really help you here. And then you don’t need to deal with a hangover or hangxiety the next day.
Not overindulging at team events is going to help you avoid this third mistake at your workplace. And the third thing that you should never do at your workplace is; Overshare. We know that this is something a lot of you have struggled with based on testimonials of employees on various social media groups.
For starters, when you overshare at your workplace, you can become the subject of toxic office gossip. You need to assume that if you tell one coworker about something, all of your coworkers are going to know about it and they’re going to have conversations about it because they’re bored and they have nothing better to do with their time.
This can also have a negative consequence on your reputation at your workplace depending on what this piece of information is.
And finally, when you overshare, this can actually have an impact on your career trajectory. It can slow you down and make you miss career opportunities. When we saw this, it typically comes from a good place.
For example, your manager might worry about overburdening you if they know that you have some personal struggles that you’re going through. So they are not going to assign you that stretch project or they’re not going to give you that promotion this round.
You don’t want to create any of those inadvertent biases that knowing too much couldn’t create, but also keeps people out of savior mode when ultimately these decisions should be up to you.
All of that said, you work with these people every day and you do have actual relationships with your coworkers. Some of them might even end up becoming friends and you want to get to know them, and you want them to get to know you. Because ultimately, we’re humans connecting in a workplace.
But to avoid oversharing and ending up having any negative consequences to what you talk to your coworkers about. There is one filter that we think is incredibly helpful so that you don’t accidentally overshare.
Before you tell your coworker something, ask this question; is this something that I want people talking about behind my back? Because if it’s something that you don’t mind, then go ahead and share freely.
For example, is there any negative consequence to your coworkers knowing that you nerded out the night that Taylor Swift’s new album came out? Because amazing!!!
Okay, maybe it’s a little bit silly (in their option), but it’s probably not going to make them think anything really negative towards you, because they’ve probably done the same thing for their favorite singer or their favorite band at some point in their life.
But do you want your coworkers to have a conversation about the breakup that you’re going through or the spot you’re having with your sister? Probably not. The reality is, that people are going talk about you behind your back and you want them to talk about the right things.
You want them to talk about how uniquely awesome you are. You want them to talk about how helpful you are and what a great person you are. This is all part of intentional reputation management at your workplace.
Now, we really need to talk about the fourth thing that you should never do at your workplace, but you’re doing it regularly. Don’t Complain At Work. Don’t complain about your boss, don’t complain about your coworkers, don’t complain about your clients, and don’t complain about anything or anyone.
If you work at a fantastic company with exclusively phenomenal people, this is not going to be a problem though. Everyone has their days. But complaining is so commonplace and it’s very easy to do. While many people like having an occasional rant. If you are complaining at work, you are amplifying and even creating a negative work environment, because complaining is negative energy. And it’s never going to be just you complaining.
When you complain about your boss to your coworker, your coworker is going to complain about your boss to you, then you’re going to complain about something else. And then it ends up just being a bunch of complaining.
Think about it, when you have complained or had one of those complaining conversations, did you actually leave the situation feeling better? You probably felt worse at the end of it. Because now were you not only burdened with the thing that was stressful or frustrating for you, your coworker was complaining back at you further burdening and further frustrating. So while complaining in the act of itself is releasing dopamine, that’s gonna burn off and leave you in a bad spot real fast.
It can also create relationship dynamics that are based on complaining, trauma bonding is a thing and it’s not a good thing. You don’t want the basis of the relationships that you have at work to be on complaining and hating what you do or hating your job or hating your boss which will make you hate those things more.
And of course, this can make the situation worse because when you’re complaining to your coworkers about your boss and Nitpicking over here, he’s going to throw you right under the bus and run to your boss and tell him all about how you’re complaining to make himself look good, causing more problems for you like a very awkward conversation with your manager and having to salvage that relationship which you could have completely avoided by not complaining to your coworkers indiscriminately.
That said, humans are not meant to bottle up emotions. And when you’re frustrated, sometimes you need to vent and a rant can be very unnecessary.
So, instead of complaining to your coworkers about all of the things, what we would suggest is trying to find people outside of your office that isn’t going to amplify it, they’re not going to complain back at you. They won’t elaborate on all the additional reasons why your boss is such a jerk, because they don’t know your boss.
Or if you’re complaining to your work bestie, come to an agreement that one of you is frustrated and venting that the other person is in listening and validating mode and not amplifying.
Having parameters is also a good practice. Many experienced employees in corporates have had rules about how they’re allowed to dwell on something. And the answer is seven days.
But in times in their careers when they return home complaining and ranting at work, they ended up putting time limits on it. Such as you got 10 minutes to complain and if that’s all you need, that’s the space, and let it all out. But then it’s time to talk about something completely different or to move into solution mode. And if you keep on complaining about the same thing or the same person or the same situation all the time, then you need to own up to the fact that you need to look at what the real problem is not the situation and complaining is not going to solve it.
But it’s the time to move up in the organization or transition teams, or maybe it’s the time to find a new job. These are all in the realm of possibilities.
Don’t Avoid Office Politics
This brings us to the most important thing that you should never do at your workplace. And that’s, avoiding office politics. I have a question for you. When we say office politics, what do you immediately think of? This is something we really need to talk about because the mindset around office politics is generally the biggest parameter that gets in people’s way of fully leveraging corporate politics.
Because when you think about office politics, it’s probably not a good thing. You’re thinking about a backstabbing coworker, is your boss sabotaging you, the empire-building leader who is just doing things to grab the power that they don’t deserve? It doesn’t have a lot of positive connotations for people.
On the flip side, a lot of ambitious professionals that I speak to when I say office politics, just get flustered, it seems really complicated. They don’t know how to navigate office politics and this was very true for many employees earlier in their careers.
When we were talking to several of our mentors and people whose career trajectories, we really wanted to emulate that I realized that the key to that success was in mastering office politics because ultimately, office politics really comes down to human interaction. Office politics is how you create mutually rewarding relationships. It’s how you’re able to increase your impact and your influence in the organization and it’s actually important in avoiding a lot of the nasty office politics that you want to avoid.
Many people think that office politics is incredibly complicated, but the more they learned about it, they realized that it’s shockingly simple to master.