While staying on your boss’s good side could help advance your career, getting on their nerves could hurt it. Sometimes, even the small things can aggravate superiors when done frequently.
By avoiding these actions, you can avoid irritating your boss and damaging your professional future and the opportunity to see if you can retire early.
Always showing up late
Things happen, and arriving a minute or two late could happen once in a while. But if it becomes a habit, you’re probably making your boss angry.
Rather than giving yourself barely enough time for the commute, leave a little early so any delays won’t make you late.
You never know what you could run into. Traffic conditions can change daily, and flat tires happen out of the blue.
Leaving work early
Constantly having emergencies that cause you to leave work early is a problem. Your boss expects you to complete your shift.
While true emergencies can occur, considering every little thing an emergency isn’t likely to go over well with superiors.
Remember, it’s up to you to secure reliable childcare and schedule appointments outside of work hours when possible.
When you do need to leave earlier than expected, clear it with your boss with as much notice as possible.
Not learning from mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, but no one wants to correct the same mistake over and over again.
While you should try your best not to make them in the first place, not learning from your missteps are likely to make them even worse.
Criticizing without offering solutions
Pointing out areas that need improvement might prove a good move when done correctly, but it’s not helping the company when you’re overly critical.
If you don’t have any real suggestions for improving these areas, you might as well keep your thoughts to yourself.
Criticizing work processes can also hit a nerve with your boss. You don’t want them to think you’re criticizing them as your superior. So think carefully before bringing your ideas to your boss’s attention.
Keep complaining out of the workplace. Your boss doesn’t want to hear how much you hate your job or anything else for that matter.
Even if the complaints don’t have anything to do with work, save them for your friends or family.
Never make excuses for your mistakes. Your boss doesn’t want excuses for why you’re late or why something never got done.
And never make excuses by placing blame on other coworkers or management. Own up to your mistakes, and don’t repeat them instead.
Showing too much initiative
Showing too much initiative includes offering to perform tasks you aren’t equipped to handle or taking over coworkers’ work without a prior discussion.
It’s a good idea to show initiative, but stepping on other’s toes and trying to do something outside of your skill level will only cause your boss and everyone else problems.
Wasting time at work
You might think of wasting time as taking too many breaks and getting up from your desk. But every time you take a personal call, scroll social media, or do nothing at all, it’s wasted time.
Save sending that text until your next scheduled break. You might want to try using the bathroom on your breaks as well.
It’s understandable if you need to use the restroom throughout the day, but using it right before or after a break can aggravate your boss.
Having a negative attitude
Negativity is contagious. If you’re always miserable at work, chances are those around you will feel miserable too, including your boss.
Miserable employees also tend to get less done. Don’t hinder your coworkers’ productivity. Try not to let your bad mood show through at the office.
Keeping a positive attitude is especially important if you interact with clients or customers. Everything you do reflects on the company and your boss, so stay pleasant and professional.
Resisting constructive criticism
Your superiors give you constructive criticism, so you know what to do differently next time. Instead of taking it personally and letting it hurt your feelings, apply their feedback to the next situation and show them you can improve.
The ability to implement constructive criticism is an important trait and one necessary for advancing within your company.
If you have your eyes on that next promotion, listen carefully and take your boss’ suggestions.
You should never guess at work. It could cost the company time and money or cause unnecessary confusion. If you don’t know how to do something, ask for clarification.
When asked something you don’t know the answer to, offer to find out instead of making a guess or estimate. Attend meetings and conferences as prepared as possible and make notes so you can refer back to them later.
Not disclosing bad news
No one wants to bring bad news, especially to their boss. But withholding information can come back to bite you later.
You won’t want your boss to find out once the problem has become worse, and you don’t want them to hear the bad news from someone else.
Constantly needing validation
You want to feel appreciated at work and know you perform the job well, but constantly seeking validation from your boss will annoy them.
Don’t waste their time looking for approval for everything you do. Do a good job, and your boss will appreciate it.
Gossiping about coworkers
Participating in office gossip is one way to hurt your career. Creating conflict with coworkers creates conflict in the workplace.
Try to stay out of the gossip, even if all your coworkers involve themselves in it. Your boss will take notice.
Bringing personal problems to work
As hard as it is sometimes, try to leave your personal problems at home. Letting your personal life interfere with your work productivity won’t impress your boss.
Even talking too much about your personal life at work can make you appear unprofessional.
Acting like the boss
Acting like the boss will make your boss angry, and it’s sure to make your coworkers angry too. Treat your coworkers like coworkers and not subordinates, even if you have seniority.
There’s a big difference between offering your expertise and experience to newer hires and acting like their superior.
Making too much noise
We don’t just mean talking too loudly. Whistling, tapping your desk, and phone notifications can all cause disruptions in the workplace. Try to keep the noise level to a minimum, so you don’t disturb others around you.
Some of the things on this list might seem obvious, but the more subtle aggravations can lead to big annoyances too.
The less you get on your boss’s nerves, the better your chance of getting the next promotion or a bigger raise.
If you have a boss who’s impossible to please despite what you do, you can always look at joining another company. A new job might even come with a higher pay rate and boost your bank account.
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