If you want to be taken seriously at work, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors

There are 168 hours in a week.

Out of those, you spend around 50 hours asleep, which leaves you with approximately 118 hours to live your life.

And a third of that is spent at work.

The last thing you want is to spend a third of your life surrounded by people who don’t take you seriously, right?

Well, the solution is simple. If you want to be taken seriously at work, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors.

1) Constant complaints

No one likes people who whine about this and that 24/7.

Life is hard. We get it. We’re living it, too. But complaints aren’t going to get you anywhere – they’re just going to sour your mood and irritate all your co-workers.

If something’s bothering you, assess how much of a problem it really is.

The office ran out of tea? Oh well. You can survive.

You’re having a work-related issue you can’t seem to resolve? Reach out for help.

Every complaint is essentially a problem, and every problem has two solutions:

  • Tackle it
  • Accept it and move on

2) Lazing around at every opportunity

“Hey, want to get some tea together?”


“What about a cigarette break?”


“Listen, I’ve got something to tell you…”

“Ooh-la-la, spill the tea!”

Depending on what kind of job you do, you might have more or fewer opportunities to procrastinate and laze around with your coworkers.

A break once in a while never hurt anyone. In fact, breaks are highly recommended because they often improve your productivity, allowing you to recharge in between your deep-focus sessions.

But if you grab onto every chance you get to stop working, you may eventually get the reputation of the “lazy one”.

Of course, this doesn’t make you appear very respectable (or good at your job for that matter), which means you may not be taken very seriously by your coworkers.

3) Sticking up to authorities at the expense of your relationships with your coworkers

It’s one thing to be good at your job and strive to get a promotion. It’s another to stick up to your boss at every opportunity, especially if it means you’re making your coworkers appear bad.

Yes, I hear you. This issue isn’t black-and-white. If you don’t like a particular coworker of yours, it makes sense that you would rather stick up to the boss and compromise your relationship with the said coworker. 

After all, your career goals are important, too.

But be careful about how far you take things. Many bosses don’t like it when you appear too eager or when it’s obvious you’re seeking validation.

And remember that you ought to always preserve your dignity, sense of self-worth, and self-respect.

Don’t change your morals or values just to get ahead.

4) Micromanaging everyone around you

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to mind your own business.

The moment you begin to micromanage the workplace, telling your coworkers how to do their jobs, is the moment everyone gets irritated and annoyed.

And if you make this behavior a habit of yours, there’s a high chance you will eventually lose the respect of the people around you.

If someone asks for your help, offer it.

If you notice that a coworker is repeatedly making the same mistake, feel free to point it out in a polite and respectful way.

But don’t go into full-on micromanaging mode. People want to preserve their sense of autonomy and freedom. They don’t want you looking over their shoulder all the time.

5) Showing up late for work

Do I need to say any more?

Look, we all oversleep sometimes. We all make mistakes. We’re not perfect, and that’s to be expected.

But the overall pattern ought to be punctuality. No matter what kind of job you have, it’s still a serious job that requires you to be there on time so that everything works as it should.

If you struggle to wake up in the mornings (I relate to this a great deal, trust me), here are some strategies for you to try:

  • Place your alarm clock on the other side of the room so that you have to get up in order to turn it off
  • Set up an alarm for your sleep time, not just for wake-up time – this will help you stay on track and go to bed at a reasonable hour
  • Listen to a relaxing audiobook or a sleep meditation as you’re falling asleep

6) Taking negative feedback too personally

In an ideal world, your performance would be 100% perfect. There’d be nothing you could do any differently because you’d be the absolute expert at your job.

But that is rarely the case. We all slip up from time to time. We all need to grow and develop.

If you want to be taken seriously, it’s imperative that you don’t take negative feedback too personally.

Don’t flip out. Don’t nitpick your boss’s or coworker’s words. Don’t let it get to you.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re handling negative feedback quite poorly, take a step back. Take a deep breath.

And try to look at things objectively.

Here’s the truth: You were criticized for two specific actions. The rest of your performance report was positive. You are likely a good employee. 

What this negative feedback means is that you still have some things to learn, and that is completely okay.

7) Displaying a lack of desire for professional development

Hear me out.

Not everyone wants to climb the ladder or become the CEO of a company. In fact, keeping your ordinary job and showing no desire to get a promotion is absolutely valid.

But when I’m talking about professional development, I don’t just mean a change of status or salary.

I’m talking about the job itself. In the 21st century, everything is constantly updating. There are always new and better ways to do things – new programs to navigate, new courses to take, new methods to adopt.

And those of us who are stuck in our old ways tend to not be taken very seriously.

Imagine that you’re talking to a coworker called Mike.

Mike says, “I think we can have great marketing without social media. The whole social media business gets on my nerves. Let’s just stick to the marketing strategy we’ve been using since the 90s.”

You’d probably think, “Well, that’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Don’t be like Mike. Instead, be open to innovation.

8) Refusing to take accountability for your actions

When I worked as a housekeeper, I occasionally broke stuff. I’m very clumsy, so it came as no surprise, but it was still incredibly difficult to own up to it.

Every time I came to my boss with the broken item cradled in my hand, I knew she would flip out.

But I also knew that taking accountability for my clumsiness was ultimately the best course of action. If I didn’t admit to it, the owners of the house would eventually find out, and then all my coworkers would be under suspicion.

The sooner you come clean, the better.

I know how uncomfortable it is to admit you’ve made a mistake, but if you want to be taken seriously at work, it’s best to display honesty, courage, and integrity.

An employee who possesses these qualities is so much more important than a broken item or a mistake in the computer system. And a good boss will recognize that.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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