Unprofessional habits, extremely damaging your career

Unprofessional habits, extremely damaging your career

2021-03-31 | Other

If you wait for your dream job, promotion or other career move to be confirmed, one or more of the following behaviours could be the reason for your failure. Self-improvement does not always mean just learn other hard and soft skills, but sometimes also saying goodbye to old habits. Especially if they make you look unprofessional. Like these.

Neglecting your health


Only healthy people can perform well at work. Every company needs overtime, but sleeping just five hours a night for a while or having no time for breakfast is the wrong decision. Many people are masters at making excuses for their unhealthy lifestyle. For a year, two or even five the body can take that away. But sooner or later a wrong or irregular diet, not enough sport and exercise, as well as too much caffeine, nicotine and alcohol will have a negative impact on your health. The result is that your career will end early.


Multitasking robs your energy and focus. It makes you unproductive and error-prone and therefore has only disadvantages for your career. If you think you can stand out for better performance by doing multiple tasks and projects at the same time, that could explain why the success you want, does not come.

Think negatively

Almost everyone allows negative thoughts to take over his mind. These were shaped in childhood by upbringing and experiences. For example, “I'm lazy”, “I'm unpopular” or “I can't do it”. Through such negative beliefs you become really “lazy”, “unpopular” or you “can't do it”. It is therefore important to convert negative into positive.


Negative thoughts have an impact on your self-confidence. In fact, very few people have healthy self-confidence. Instead, there are a lot of promoters and narcissists, who are making their way to manager positions, without having the necessary skills.

It is important, for long-term success, that you develop a healthy level of self-confidence. This does not mean deciding you can do everything and without even the slightest doubt in your abilities, to reach for the stars.

Being self-confident, means healthy self-reflection. Be clear about your abilities and talents, but also your limits. Be careful with yourself and your health and concentrate on the successes in your everyday work.

Time to switch off


You have to look after not only your physical, but your mental health as well. You can eat as healthily, sleep as much, and go to the gym as often, as you like. If you do not find time for relax, you will end up in burnout. Relaxation doesn't just mean putting your feet up on the sofa after work or going for a walk with the dog. It means switching off. And that's exactly what many employees and self-employed people have a problem with. Therefore, after work, on the weekends and on vacation, learn to stop thinking about your projects, the upcoming business trip or the conflict with colleagues. Let your mind just wander and recharge your batteries.

Can't say "no"

Do you think, if you smile and say „yes“ to everything, your boss will put you on the list for promotion? Then unfortunately you will fail. Saying “no” is a testament to self-confidence and is essential for professional success. How so? Because that's the only way you can respect your limits and stay healthy.

Flexible goals

Life almost always turns out differently and future plans make close to no sense anyway. Still long-term goals are an essential ingredient for professional success. Only when you know where you want to go, you can base your job selection, training and other life decisions on it and avoid unnecessary effort. And if the fate has different plans, you will have to adjust your long-term goals accordingly. Find the right balance between career planning and flexibility.


If you like to put off unloved tasks, you are not alone. Numerous people are prone to procrastination.  Displacement activities or the postponement of work, lead to nothing but a guilty conscience, increasing pressure and, in the worst case, poor performance evaluation. It's time to get over your weaker self and practice discipline instead.


The opposite of procrastination has no place in professional life too: impatience. Sometimes a project is delayed. The customer doesn't reply to your email for two weeks because he is on vacation. Or the reward for your performance, сn the form of a salary increase or promotion, is taking longer than expected. Exercise patience.  Everybody who is impatient, disgruntled and frustrated, leaves an extremely unprofessional impression.

Always late


Always being on time is probably impossible. Still, you should try being on schedule 99 % of the time. Because being late shows disrespect for those waiting you and a lack of professionalism - no matter how good your excuse is. If you are one of the “late arrivals”, you offend you in your professional environment.

You interrupt your colleagues

“Let the other person finish” - this lesson is very important for your personal and professional life. Do not forget your good manners and observe this important rule of behavior in meetings, negotiations and actually in all conversations, whether professional or private. Otherwise you appear arrogant, disinterested and unprofessional.

Don't care about your appearance

Yes, appearance is not everything in life and your job should be about your performance, not your "look". Unfortunately, the reality looks different: the outfit has great influence on how others see you.

Those who perform well and dress good, also have a better chance of becoming really successful. If, you don't pay attention to your outfit, it will look unprofessional. You don't have to be a top model, but a well-groomed appearance isn't too much to ask and together with stunning performance it is definitely a great start towards the desired promotion!

Being perfectionist

Many people see being a perfectionist as a compliment. Some even name it as strength in the cover letter or job interview. Unfortunately, the truth is different: perfectionists put themselves and their professional environment under unnecessary pressure. This makes them stressed, unproductive and unpopular. Be normal and allow yourself to have weaknesses. Of course, that doesn't mean to be careless.



Do you follow the motto "only those who keep their elbows out, can achieve something at work"? Not correct! Success is still only possible in a team.

While the elbow mentality ultimately only harms everyone, including you, the ability to work in a team is one of the most Important soft skills. A healthy egoism, on the other hand, is good, because you can set limits and not allow other egoists to take advantage of you. This lies somewhere between helpfulness and ruthlessness.  

Center of attention

Do you always want to catch the full attention of your colleagues and managers? Do you feel really good, only when you receive praise and recognition? These are narcissistic traits and have no place in professional life. Express your opinion and let your voice be heard in the office, but don't make everybody consider you. Speaking on any topic is not being liked by everyone.

Bad language

Bad/offensive language looks unprofessional. Such expressions have no place in professional life and if you ever slip out a swear word, excuse yourself and make sure that it doesn't happen again. Not in front of colleagues, even less your superiors and certainly not in front of customers or business partners!

Showcase your achievements

Many employees can not advertise themselves as a product. Instead, they want to climb through humility and excellence. That can work - with a lot of patience and luck. On the other hand, you will go faster and higher when you practice "real" self-marketing.

Ultimately, your image and your contacts determine success or failure.

Better skip one overtime hour and say "Hello" to the colleagues in the neighboring office or write a new expert article for your blog. Doing no or wrong self-marketing is a really unprofessional behavior, with which you ultimately harm one person in particular: yourself.

Social media


Religious, political, vulgar or otherwise inappropriate statements on social media channels can become your professional end. Even if you use the channels purely for private purposes, there is still a colleague or the boss of your friends list, who sees your unprofessional behavior. Be sure to pay attention to your  footprint on internet. Silence is mostly gold!

You whine a lot  

You are sick again, you feel that your boss has treated you unfairly, the weather is bad and the project is  being delayed again. All well and good, but complain to your dog, the mirror or the therapist. If you constantly whine to your colleagues, superiors and customers, don't be surprised, if they avoid you. And since social skills are currently very popular, your stagnating career will only give you more reasons to complain.

If you start working on these habits, you will make a big step forward in your professional development. The problem is, too much self-optimization is also one of those bad habits. Perfection is an unattainable goal. If you are simply satisfied - with yourself, your career and your current life situation, you will have no more reasons to complain.

Do not take yourself, your job and life too seriously. Be calm and make sure, that you are only human and not perfect professional machine. Have fun!

Related topics: News: The REAL reasons employees stay in a company

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