Seven Dangerous Habits That Can Get You Fired

When it comes to being exceptional at your job, you may think that doing the work is enough. However, in this day and age, it rarely is. Competition on the job market is fierce, and making sure that you conduct yourself in the best way possible at the office is crucial if you want to earn the appreciation of your supervisors and coworkers. Unfortunately, sometimes your own bad habits can stand in the way of landing a promotion or being praised by your boss.

Wondering why you always seem to be overlooked for raises? Or why you are never assigned big projects that will really challenge you and highlight your skills? You may be holding yourself back. Everyone has quirks. Nonetheless, some people can keep them in check. Here are seven dangerous habits that can cost you your job if you don’t make an effort to overcome them.


Constant tardiness

Being late on a regular basis can make you earn the reputation of an unreliable and disorganized employee. When you find yourself constantly arriving late at the office, spending an extra 10 minutes out on your lunch break or missing the start of important meetings, you have a problem.

If you are chronically late, you might be dealing with other issues as well: anxiety, procrastination, ADD. In that case, waking up 10 minutes earlier and setting reminders on your phone for important work-related events may not be enough. The first step towards fixing the problem is finding its root. You can learn more on how to overcome your tardiness from this article. A good start would be to plan to be everywhere 15 minutes earlier. This way, you increase your chances of actually arriving on time.


Getting caught up in office drama won’t do you any good. Keep in mind that you are not there to inquire about on who broke up with whom. When you ask way too many personal questions or start meddling in people’s private affairs, you will make them feel uncomfortable.

Conversations with colleagues demand a certain level of discretion. You have to make sure that you respect their boundaries if you want to gain their trust and respect.


Procrastination is evil – it robs you of your time and prevents you from getting things done. This bad habit causes you to be less productive and negatively affects your work performance. Putting off tasks until the last day or even hour before they are due can also cause you to hand in sloppy and superficial work.

When you mostly work on your own, you may believe that procrastination isn’t that bad, as long as your assignments get done eventually. If you are part of a team, however, you may be unaware of the impact this annoying habit is having on your colleagues. When you have others depending on your work, your procrastination will force them to work quickly as well. This will surely upset them, not to mention the fact that you will be the one to blame if the project isn’t completed on time.


The surest and quickest way to endanger your career is misrepresenting the truth. Never lie about you credentials. It may land you the job, but you will likely be unable to keep it. Also, do your best to never lie on time sheets or billable hours, abuse credit cards or misuse expense accounts.

In the same note, stealing credit from your coworkers is dangerous on two fronts. Not only will you gain the resentment of your colleagues, but your boss will likely find out the truth soon enough. And, certainly, it won’t make you look good.


Complaining about your workload, boss or assignments is unproductive and useless. It will make others view you as a whiny, negative person nobody wants to be around. Plus, you never know who might be listening. When word of your complaining reaches your boss, it’s even worse. Think about it this way – if you tell everyone that you are too busy and can’t handle your tasks, why should your boss trust that you will? Better take them off your hands and reassign them to someone else, ready to face the challenge.

Instead, focus on developing a more positive attitude. Be a problem-solver. After all, your perspective on the situation affects your ability to get work done. To put it simply, having a more positive attitude will boost your productivity levels.

Foul language

You are not at home or at a social gathering. You are not speaking with your friends – you are interacting with professionals, so you should never resort to slang or profanity in the workplace. It may make others believe that you are uneducated and vulgar.

In the same note, lack of manners can also cost you. Always say “please” and “thank you”. Excuse yourself when you have to interrupt someone. Don’t be rude and smile as often as possible. These are all little things that can go a long way when it comes to how your colleagues and supervisors perceive you.


Spending too much time on social networks, playing games online during office hours or engaging in any other miscellaneous activities that have nothing to do with work will make you look inefficient.

Being too talkative or way too disorganized fall into this category as well. People are there to work – not to listen to you talk about the recent adventures of your hamster or wait five minutes until you finally manage to locate a document on your messy desk.

These are all dangerous habits that can cause you to be overlooked for a promotion or, worst-case scenario, get you fired. It’s up to you to correct them. By succeeding, you increase the chances of getting noticed not for your tardiness or inefficiency, but for all your hard work and dedication.  As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Take note.

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