11 Things You Should Resolve Not to Do at Work in 2011
By Megan Malugani, Monster Contributing Writer
The new year is a perfect time to say hello to workplace happiness and good-bye to the bad habits that make you miserable and hinder your professional success. Youll enjoy your time in the office a little more -- and improve your professional reputation -- if you make it your New Years resolution to cut down on these 11 counterproductive behaviors:
1. Excessive Complaining
Enough already. Constant whining about insignificant things (Its horribly unfair that Department X got a casual day and we didnt!) doesnt serve a purpose and keeps you in a perpetually bad mood. Plus, happy people will avoid you.
Ditto for gossiping. The next time a colleague tries to engage you in the office drama du jour, offer a one-word response, like interesting or wow, and follow it with, Ive got to go. See you later. Repeat as necessary. 3. Heartlessly Criticizing Others
Sometimes you must criticize a colleagues or subordinates performance. But have a heart when doing so. If possible, mention a few positives for every negative, and try to be constructive rather than cruel.
4. Beating Yourself Up
So you made a mistake, or your brilliant idea actually turned out to be a bad one. No one is perfect. Own up to your mistake, or take responsibility for your failure. Then move on.
5. Taking Yourself Too Seriously
Cmon, lighten up. Admittedly, this may be tough for overworked employees in a difficult labor market. But that is precisely the reason to flash those pearly whites and crack a joke now and then (even of the gallows humor variety): Everyone benefits when the tension is brought down a notch, even for just a minute.
Are you content to be bored at work? Do you want your boss to consider you uninspired? Probably not. So make it a resolution to learn something new or try something different in 2011.
7. Isolating Yourself
In todays topsy-turvy job market, professional networking is more important than ever. So this year, dont hole up in your cubicle. Get out there and meet some new folks -- both inside and outside the company -- who share your profession or work in your field.
8. Blending into the Woodwork
Even if youve always had a hard time speaking up in meetings or expressing your opinion to your boss, its never too late to start putting in your two cents. Pick one work-related issue that is close to your heart and that youre knowledgeable about. Contribute a few comments on this issue during a meeting -- you may be surprised at how seriously people take the input of someone who speaks sparingly!
9. Blabbing Unnecessarily
Stating your mind is important, but dont just talk to hear your own voice in meetings, either. Speak up only if youre adding something of value to the discussion.
10. Burning Bridges
Dont assume that colleagues, customers and others who cross your professional path will forgive and forget when you do them wrong. So make it one of your resolutions in 2011 to stay on good terms with your professional acquaintances. Yes, its sometimes hard, but oh-so-worth-it in the long run.
11. Wasting Time Via Social Media
Wasting time at work is as old as work itself. But a particularly timely pet peeve of many bosses is the overuse and/or misuse of Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media. Alas, this final resolution -- to curb your social media addiction -- may not make you happier at work in the short term, but it will protect you professionally in the long term.