If you want to be taken seriously at work, start saying no to these 14 things

If you want to be respected at work, there are certain standards you have to meet. 

But a big part of being taken seriously at work and highly valued by your colleagues and superiors isn’t in what you do:

It’s in what you don’t do. 

This is a list of the various harmful work behaviors that sink someone’s workplace respect like a stone. 

Avoid these habits and do your best and you’ll be the king of the castle at your workplace. 

1) Procrastination

The key to avoiding procrastination is to not put off for tomorrow what can be done today. 

That’s easier said than done, of course, but it’s crucial. 

Procrastinating at work quickly leads to losing respect. In many cases the work itself may simply not interest you much, but at the end of the day it comes down to this:

Find a reason to buckle down and get the work done, or find another job. 

2) Excuses

Excuses are always going to be there, but it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. 

The kind of individual who starts making a lot of excuses at work eventually ends up being excused from their job. 

The fact of the matter is that sometimes the excuses are pretty good ones and may even be valid. But at the end of the day the job either needs to get done or somebody else needs to do it. 

And that’s where relying on excuses (even good ones) becomes an exercise in futility and self-sabotage. 

3) Outsourcing 

The next key habit to avoid is outsourcing, or delegating work you should be doing to other people. 

If something is within your job description, do your best to live up to or even exceed it. 

Passing along work you find boring or overly difficult can quickly lead to being seen as a weak link at work. 

Even if you have some very helpful colleagues who are willing to pick up the slack, do your best not to outsource too much work their way. 

4) Disorganization

Staying organized can be a challenge, especially if you’re overloaded at work. 

But it’s worth it. 

Having your schedule organized as well as your desk or job site goes a long way to being taken much more seriously

It also makes your own job a whole lot easier. 

5) Distractions

There are so many potential distractions at work, and it’s next to impossible to avoid every single one. 

But some of the key ones are definitely possible to stay away from. 

If you work in an office, steer your browser away from memes, YouTube and social media. 

If you work on a job site keep your phone on silent and only check it out on breaks rather than while you’re working. 

This keeps you focused on your work, while also ensuring you’re taken seriously and not seen as a slacker. 

6) Venting 

When you’re having a bad day at work, what do you do?

The best option is to go for a walk if possible or do some mindfulness meditation. Another option in some cases is to work your way through it. 

The worst thing to do, however, is to vent at subordinates or take it out on other people. 

This leads to people feeling you are emotionally unstable or avoiding you as an unpleasant individual, even if this is an unfair characterization. 

7) Laziness

None of us would like to think of ourselves as lazy, and it’s certainly a loaded word. 

But in some cases it’s at least partly true that some of us avoid working as hard as we could. 

We sit back and wait for somebody else to pick up the slack, or do the bare minimum. 

If possible, push yourself a bit at work! You’ll be taken seriously and seen as the hard worker you are. 

8) Flirting 

Flirting is another behavior that’s frowned on at work and can lead to an erosion of respect. 

Although there’s nothing wrong with appreciating a good looking coworker or having a bit of witty banter with them, flirting can definitely go a bit far. 

If you find that you’re daydreaming about a coworker (or boss) to the extent that it’s interfering with your ability to work well, then it’s definitely time to scale back the sexy side of work. 

9) Gossip

Gossip can make the day go by in a much more entertaining way, but it has a way of circling back around to get you as well. 

Gossip and spreading rumors (or even just casually talking about them) also leads to a perception that you’re not that serious about the job. 

Those who talk a lot about other people are sometimes stereotyped as old biddies who basically aren’t to be entrusted with important matters at work. 

10) Drama 

When drama arises on the job, the best thing you can do is stay out of it. 

If it involves you, do your best not to get provoked or lose your cool. Stand up for yourself without getting into personal attacks or becoming bitter. 

Workplace drama isn’t worth your time and energy. You already do enough labor on the job with what you draw a salary for. There’s no need to throw in unpaid emotional labor, too. 

11) Egotism

If you’re prone to getting a bit egotistical, work is not the place for it. 

I say that as someone who can get a bit egotistical, so it’s not coming as a random thought. I know that when I’ve let my ego get the better of me in certain jobs I ended up being rude and presumptuous in ways that lost me respect. 

If you start feeling you’re “too good” for your job or that it’s below you, focus on how lucky you are to have the work and focus on improving your life outside work.

12) Envy

Giving in to envy at work is a surefire way to sabotage your reputation. 

If you find that colleagues are getting advances they don’t deserve or attention that’s not merited, jealousy is a natural reaction. 

But if at all possible I advise resisting your indulgence in how much you focus on this emotion. 

Try to channel the envy into doing an even better job at work, rather than on resentment and scheming how to beat your colleagues.

13) Exploitation

When you’re asked to do more than is fair at work, what do you do?

The correct response should be a firm no, as well as strongly resisting pressure and manipulation. 

In rare cases you may be backed in a corner and underpaid or forced to do work you don’t want in order to keep your job. But whenever possible this should be reported to authorities and the local union or employee board. 

There’s never a reason to back down and just take it, and doing so can lead to being treated like a welcome mat (not only by your superiors but by coworkers). 

14) Reckless coworkers

Almost every job I’ve been in had a wide diversity of people in it. 

Some were more restrained and reserved, others very focused on mission and others more on the wild side. 

The wild folks can be a lot of fun to go to holiday parties with or hang out with, but it’s best to minimize too much time around them. 

Getting in with the “bad boys” at work can erode your own reputation and lead to a loss of focus and determination. 

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