7 Mistakes You're Making At Work Without Even Realizing It


It almost too easy to fall into a routine at work. It doesn't help that some days seem to drag on forever. You may be so used to doing what you do, you don't even realize that you could be doing better. 

Here are some common mistakes people make at the office: 


1. Avoiding asking for help.

You're qualified to do your job, that's why you were hired. Asking for help or for input from your colleagues doesn't make you look weak. In fact, it shows that you understand the value of other perspectives and the skills of others on your team. This becomes especially important when you're working on something that's outside of your comfort zone. 

Make sure you don't wait until the last minute to ask, though!

2. Not listening to the people around you.

Listening is one of the most beneficial skills you can have in your bag of tricks. When you're trying to meet a deadline or make decisions, it's easy to not listen to the people around you. It can especially be easy to ignore the people below you. If you're a leader in your company, you may have a vision for what you're working on, but it's so important that that vision be open to change. Other people can look at things from a different perspective and improve the overall picture. Don't make the mistake of not hearing them. Plus, people will be happier if they truly feel like you listened, even if you don't end up implementing their ideas.

3. Not showing your appreciation.

Maybe you've listened to someone else's idea and it's not going to work, but you should make sure they know their input was valued. Whenever someone tries to help you or others on your team improve, let them know you truly appreciate the effort. Thank the interns before they leave every day. Take a 10-minute coffee break with your colleagues to let them know you appreciate their hard work. It may seem silly to thank people for doing the thing they're getting paid for, but people work harder when they feel valued. A simple sincere "thank you" can go a long way. 

4. Avoiding opportunities that don't fit into your plan.

Sometimes jobs, projects and other opportunities come up that don't fit perfectly into the vision you have for your future. Don't be so quick to shoot them down. If you hear your colleague could use an extra hand on a project outside your job description, offer to help out. If an opportunity you didn't expect to add to your resume presents itself, consider taking it. Whenever there's something of value in an experience, do it. Maybe you'll learn a new skill, make some friends or find a passion you never thought you'd have. 

5. Waiting to be told what to do.

Be a person who takes initiative. Those are the people who are most valued. Speak up when you have an idea that can enrich a project or improve workflow. If you find yourself ever having too much downtime while on the clock, offer to help others or try something new that could benefit the team. 

6. Taking too long to respond or always responding immediately.

You're busy, so you might not have time to respond to others promptly. There's nothing wrong with that, but pushing it until too late is inconsiderate to the other person. They're expecting an answer and they're probably busy, too. If you find this is happening often, try to block out some time in your day every day to respond. Even if you can't deal with it right then and there, let them know their message has been received and it's on your docket. 

On the other hand, responding immediately can have its downside, too. If you're rushing to respond immediately, you may forget to include information or attachments and make spelling mistakes. That can make you look disorganized or even unprofessional. 

Your goal should be to respond timely, correctly and appropriately. 

7. Not assuming responsibility for your own professional growth.

No matter what position you're in, you should always be learning and accumulating skills. When you stop learning in a job, the work becomes uninteresting. You respond to the world based on our own knowledge, talents and experiences. The more you learn and improve, the better the chance you have to get what you want. 

Skills will help you get job and, once you're in the job, you'll be more valuable. Plus, you can take your skill set wherever you go, whether it be to a new office or a new home. 

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