If you want to be taken seriously at work, say goodbye to these 10 behaviors

Are you looking to be taken seriously at work?

Perhaps you aren’t given as much responsibility as you’d like. Or you feel stuck and overlooked in your role.

You want people to realize the value you bring to the company. And to progress and climb up the career ladder.

Well, no sweat, I’m here to help you.

If you want to be taken seriously at work, the following are 10 behaviors to say ‘so long!’ to.

Let’s take a look at them!

1) Dressing inappropriately

How you dress plays a good part in how people perceive you.

So, if you want to be taken seriously, dress the part.

A smart, professional appearance will make you seem more credible. Studies also show that it can increase your chances of getting promoted!

So, adhere to the dress code, whether smart or smart-casual.

Another positive of dressing professionally is that it shows you respect your workplace and care about representing it. This especially goes for client-facing roles.

Not only that, but it can help you perform better at your job.

Also, make sure your clothes are clean, unwrinkled, and your shirt buttoned in all the right places. Stained and wrinkled clothes is not a good look!

2) Turning up late for work constantly

It happens. One day you’re late because of a traffic accident. Or because the traffic’s heavier than usual.

Perhaps your alarm doesn’t go off, so you’re already late for work by the time you wake up.

Like I said, these things are bound to happen.

But you won’t be taken seriously at work if you’re constantly late. Especially if there’s no good reason for it.

For example, if you’re late because of a bad hangover  – all because you drank a ton the night before!

You may be seen as someone who is unreliable and has a lack of commitment and respect for your job.

If you often run 5-10 minutes late or more, it’s time to switch that up!

Try to get to work on time by:

  • Going to bed early
  • Setting multiple alarms
  • Leaving the house 10-15 minutes earlier than usual (to account for the traffic)
  • Checking the traffic to anticipate any delays

If you know you’ll be late, make sure to tell your manager as soon as possible.

They’ll appreciate being kept in the loop.

Related: 9 traits of people who are genuinely happy in life

3) Not communicating effectively

And that’s because communication is important.

If you don’t communicate effectively, it can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings and pent-up frustrations about your job.

For example, you might struggle with work that keeps getting piled onto you. But if you don’t tell your boss, they’ll never know how stressed and miserable it makes you.

Effective communication will help you better handle conflict and clearly express yourself.

Put effective communication into practice by speaking with confidence. And remember to stay calm, even if you’re upset or frustrated.

Also, think about what you’ll say before you say it. It will be easier to get your point across clearly, that way.

Let’s not forget the other factor of good communication. Active listening.

Make sure to soak in information. Let people speak without interrupting.

Keep an open mind, too, when listening to other perspectives. This helps foster open and healthy discussions.

4) Being disrespectful

say goodbye to these behaviors to get respect If you want to be taken seriously at work, say goodbye to these 10 behaviors

You know the saying, ‘Treat others how you want to be treated?’.

Treating your work peers with respect can go a long way, so keep this in mind when you’re at work.

Whether it’s management, your colleagues or the weekly cleaner, remember to be respectful and treat them with kindness and courtesy. Even the ones that don’t deserve it!

This encourages a positive working environment but also reflects positively on you. This will build up your reputation and get you noticed by the right people.

Related: These 8 phrases indicate that someone is genuinely interested in you

5) Complaining and criticizing others

We’ve touched on being disrespectful. Now, complaining and criticizing others fits into that.

When we’re unhappy at work, it’s easy to complain and make nasty digs about others.

But it’s not a nice thing to do. And it doesn’t leave the best impression of you.

For one, it can make you seem negative and unpleasant.

Two, people might think you’re childish and immature.

It can also make you appear as if you’re not a team player.

If you have grievances at work, it’s best to take steps towards making a positive change.

For example, you can give constructive feedback about your grievances (and utilize those communication skills!)

It can also help to focus on the positive aspects of work. What do you like about it? Do you get on with your colleagues? Perhaps you’ve made a work bestie who gets you through the day?

Whatever those positive things are, grasp onto them and let go of the negative.

6) Being unable to take feedback

How do you react to feedback? Do you take it on the chin? Or do you make excuses and go on the defensive?  ‘It’s the customer’s fault I yelled and put the phone down. They shouldn’t have been so rude!’

Feedback can be tough to stomach, but it’s necessary, as it helps our professional growth and development.

So, try not to get upset or offended by feedback.

Instead, be open to constructive criticism and take feedback seriously – it will help you do your job better in the long run.

Related: 10 signs your personality is so unique that people often misunderstand you

7) Being unwilling to learn and develop professionally

Like I said, growth is important in the workplace.

Alongside your professional growth, the company will grow, too.

That’s because companies change and evolve, so you’ll have to be able to adapt to those changes.

That means they’ll always be opportunities to expand your skill set and learn new things.

You may come across as inflexible if you resist these changes and complain about them.

So embrace changes and the opportunity to learn and grow with the company.

That could mean learning new procedures, keeping up to date with industry trends or taking extra courses.

8) Not taking initiative

the psychology of self esteem 1 If you want to be taken seriously at work, say goodbye to these 10 behaviors

Much like resisting change, not taking the initiative can affect how seriously your work peers take you.

Look, you may do your job perfectly fine. You do everything you’re supposed to do. You turn up on time. Are polite and respectful.

But it’s not enough if you want to stand out.

You have to take some initiative.

You can do this by:

  • Making suggestions on areas to improve upon
  • Offering to help colleagues overloaded with work
  • Volunteering to do tasks that are not a part of your job description
  • Offering to work overtime to finish tasks
  • Covering a colleague’s shift

Management will look at the people who go above and beyond for their role when it comes to promotions and pay rises. The people who treat their jobs as more than just a monthly paycheck.

Show you’re willing to help the company thrive, and you’ll get noticed for all the right reasons.

9) Procrastinating

We all procrastinate. But it’s not a good look if you miss deadlines and deliver sub-par work by leaving everything until the last minute!

Imagine you ignore multiple emails from customers for days. Weeks even.

Customers then get upset because their enquiries haven’t been dealt with.

Next thing you know? You have a bunch of complaints and negative feedback from angry customers, unhappy with the service received.

Management won’t be best pleased with that!

You may be looked upon as someone who can’t be depended on or stick to their commitments.

Therefore, you miss out on opportunities to take on more responsibilities.

Avoid the curse of procrastination by:

  • Breaking your tasks down into manageable goals
  • Prioritizing them in list of importance
  • Cutting down on time-wasting activities (like checking social media or gossiping with co-workers)
  • Giving yourself deadlines to work towards

It may also help to give yourself allotted time frames to work on tasks without interruption. The Pomodoro technique helps me, personally!

10) Not taking accountability for your mistakes

Let’s say a customer is upset and starts yelling down the phone. In response, you bring out your best cuss words before hanging the phone up.

Not taking accountability for your mistake would mean blaming the customer for your actions, in this case.

Now this wouldn’t be the right move. It fails to admit responsibility and stunts growth in the process.

This can therefore break trust and dependability.

If you make a mistake, it’s best to own up to it.

This shows you’re committed to your role and are open to change.

This will help you learn from your mistakes and perform the best in your job.

Final thoughts

It can be hard to get noticed or be taken seriously at work.

And if you work for a big company, it can be hard to stand out.

So, start implementing these behaviors into your daily work regime and build a reputation as someone who is: hardworking, polite, open and respectful.

Be consistent about it; it will surely pay off in the end!


Picture of Natalya Edwards

Natalya Edwards

Natalya Edwards is a content writer with experience writing content on diverse topics, from entertainment and music to personal development and short stories. When she’s not typing away at the keyboard, she enjoys gaming, reading and watching Korean dramas.

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