Selasa, 20 Januari 2015

8 Tips to Achieving a Balance Between Life and Work

For many, attaining that seemingly elusive balance between their job or career and personal lives seems like, at best, borrowing a miracle off on the horizon. Kids get sick.

Those complicated presentations? Well, they’re due tomorrow morning. The spouse or significant other is griping about you never having enough time for them. Seems like it’s an unmerciful, perpetual cycle, no?
According to a recent study of U.S. workers, approximately two-fifths of employees claim that their jobs are exhausting and stressful—a.k.a., life-sucking. People (particularly women) in high-stress positions are statistically around three times more likely than others to experience stress-related medical conditions, and even quit their jobs twice as much.
Common results from work-life deficiencies include:
  • Weakened immune system
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Sexual health issues
  • Headaches and backaches
  • Irritability, exhaustion (even chronic fatigue), and/or depression/anxiety
  • Formation of unhealthy habits, e.g. smoking, drinking, or overeating
The good news is that, well, for most people, it doesn’t have to be like this, at least not all of the time.

1. Dump time- or energy-sucking activities.

wasting time
You’d be surprised at how many hours and how much energy folks plunder on wasteful activities or other people every day. These useless activities and people (e.g. listening to others bitch about their problems), often formed habits, add nothing of value to your life. Take the time to recognize anything and everything in your daily life that’s not somehow life- or career-fulfilling and terminate it.

2. Find Time to Relax.

Dad with kids
If you’re reading this article, chances are that you just scoffed at this idea—“like, okay when and where?!”, you’re thinking. I get it. 24 hours a day just doesn’t seem to cut it. And after years of these super busy, carbon copy-like days, people tend to get burned the hell out. Hence, one of two (or both) things suffer: work or personal/family time. Avoid this life-sucking problem by proactively planning out your days. Integrate fun and fulfilling activities into your schedule; allot time for family or friends every day or, at minimum, a few times a week.
Bottom line: Regularly give yourself incentives to complete your daily tasks. For example, “Every other day I’ll spend time playing with kids” or “I’ll make it a priority to go to the movies or out to eat with a couple of good friends every Friday.”

3. Explore Your Work Options and, For God’s Sakes, Leave Work at Work, Already.

A firm, set work schedule is inevitable to many, if not most, people. What most people don’t consider, though, is at least trying to ease their workload and/or work hours. Propose to your boss stress-lifting ideas like task sharing and compressing work hours (i.e. work harder and faster to spend less time at work if you’re on a salary). Use that awesome organ atop your head, get creative.
Regarding work, stick to this m/o whenever possible—what happens at work, stays at work, and what happens at home, well, don’t let it be job-related, damn it. With technology allowing virtually unlimited communication, many people can’t tell where work ends and home life, well, begins. Separate work time from personal or family time whenever and wherever possible. When out with friends, for example, put the laptop out of sight and completely away.

4.  Take Care of Your Body

This one should be immediately obvious but sadly, it isn’t to your average workaholic. We tend to get so tied up in our jobs or careers that, at the end of every day, we resort to unproductive and especially unhealthy things. Common habits brought about or augmented by work-related stress include pigging-out, being excessively lazy, smoking, boozing and so forth. If any of that’s you, it’s got to change.
Start eating healthy. Or for the “it’s easier said than done” crowd, eat healthier. Include a minimum amount of physical activity into every day. Go for a brisk walk at dawn before work or unwind after work by doing laps in the pool for thirty minutes. Whatever it is that you do, make sure it’s something that you’ll (at least) somewhat enjoy doing and that can be done every day or every other day. Otherwise, you’re only setting yourself up for likely burnout.

5. Make “YOU” Time

relaxing in nature with book and music
It’s exactly what it sounds like: make time at least once a week to spend by your merry self, preferably away from all the usual distractions—i.e. cell phone, laptop, TV and so forth. Choose a quiet, serene place, pick up a book of interest and get lost in it. Take in a sunset from a grassy knoll. Do whatever it takes to ‘be at one’ with yourself, to recharge and to assess (or reassess) your life and the priorities within it.

6. Find a Mentor and/or Life Coach

Know someone that’s at the top of their game in life? Yes? Awesome! No? Find one. Seek his or her mentoring to sort of absorb how the awesome’s done. And maybe better yet, look into hiring a life coach (a quick search of Google or your local Craigslist page can help locating one). These individuals are (or should be) experienced in evaluating the work-life balance of clients and making recommendations as to how they can optimize their work lives and home lives or take steps to correct any imbalances of, therein.

7. Putting in Extra Work Hours Won’t Affect Your Success

Never assume that the more hours you slave at work, the more successful you’ll be. Working tons of extra hours makes your paycheck fatter, but it’s generally meaningless as a determiner of your career success. What matters is how you spend the time that you do work—how you maximize your regular hours in pursuit of achieving greater success in the long run. And yes, the cliche must be mentioned: Work smarter, not harder.

8. Leave Work at Work and Home at Home

sleeping in the office
Similar to the rule in No. 3, use your daily trip to work to your advantage—mentally switch between “home life” and “work life. En route to the job, leave any worries or stresses at home at, well, home. Get in the “I’m about to go optimize the hell out of my work day today” frame of mind and then go do it. On the return trip home, gradually slide back into “home mode”. Granted, it’s not always as easy as that–especially when work ‘follows’ you home. At the very least, though, finish your work at home first, then drop it. Just pack it up and save work for the next day.

6 Tips For Leaving Your Job Better Than You Found It

The last six years have been pretty rough for the job market, so if you’re among the few movers and shakers who are actually heading up the ladder instead of falling off it, then you probably have a good handle on professionalism and what it can mean to your future. You know that even if you’re leaving a job, it’s good practice not to burn any bridges, even if you have no plans or desire to utilize those bridges again. In fact, we suggest that if you’re leaving your job, it’s best to leave it better than you found it. Here are six tips for how you can do just that.

One: Finish The Projects You Can

Finish The Projects You Can
You’ve put in your two weeks’ notice. Now you can either sit around all day, drink coffee, and surf the Internet, or you can get a head start on your next job — at least in mindset — by working diligently to tie up any loose ends at your existing place of employment. This can bring with it a sense of accomplishment and stability that will serve you well as you head in to your next chapter of life.

Two: Take The Lead On Succession Planning

If you’ve got a lot to do, you may not be able to get to everything in two weeks’ time. Therefore, we suggest you take an active part in succession planning. In other words, make sure that people who take your job know what to expect from the daily duties and from any outstanding matters. Even if management has not filled your position, you should take steps to ensure someone knows how to do your job as well as what’s been done and what needs to be done.

Three: Let Go Of Grudges

Let Go Of Grudges
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to leave a position with the most upbeat attitude. Maybe a manager or a co-worker rubbed you the wrong way. They may even deserve the animosity. But we live in a world where punching someone’s teeth in has consequences. Even an angry word or two (because you feel there’s nothing to lose) can come back to get you if your boss and your new boss travel in the same professional circles. Don’t allow negativity to have power over your life. Instead look forward, not back.

Four: Be Gracious

Be Gracious
Being gracious may not always be easy, but the alternative can always have you looking over your shoulder as you advance your career. If leaving your job, consider writing a resignation letter that really lets your bosses and the company as a whole have it. Be as negative as possible; then, toss it in the trashcan. After doing so, your mind will be clear enough to write the “real” resignation letter — preferably one that is gracious and appreciative of the experience you gained from working in your position.

Five: Give Clients A Heads-Up

Give Clients A Heads-Up
Co-workers and successors aren’t the only ones who may feel lost when you leave your job. Clients do as well, especially if they work fairly close with you on a daily or weekly basis, and suddenly you’re no longer there. About a week in advance, give your clients a call and let them know you’ve taken another position.

Six: Don’t Badmouth Superiors Or Co-Workers

Don't Badmouth Superiors Or Co-Workers
You’d be surprised at how often a boss you hated at the time can later become an ally, just because you left the company like a professional (as opposed to a bitter college student). Why does that matter? Because in time, you may need a reference or a good word from your boss if you’re ever up for a new job or a promotion. Don’t screw it up.

Writing Career: Why It’s The Suckiest, Most Rewarding Profession

Want a writing career? There are some things you’ll need to know before you set out down this path. First, some good news. I’ve been doing it full-time for six years, and am by no means a great writer. Translation: you don’t have to be to earn a living. Now the bad news: despite the opportunities available, very few make it in this business. (And sorry, creative types, it is a business if you want any kind of a future in it.)
Yes, a writing career will defy your expectations in both good and bad ways. Here’s why it’s the suckiest, most rewarding profession.

Why It Sucks: Few people are going to pay you to write fiction.

Few people are going to pay you to write fiction
Let’s face it. About 99.9 percent of you who want a writing career would prefer to sit around and make up stories all day. You dream of having your name on a book spine like Dean Koontz, Nicholas Sparks, George R.R. Martin, or Stephen King. Good luck with that. It’s certainly possible — and you don’t need a publisher to do it — but it’s impractical.
If we’re talking about quitting your job in the next six months and making a real income, then most will need to get comfortable with the fact fiction is something you do after you’ve made money writing about other things. Blogging, web writing, magazine articles — that’s where the money is. Not novels, comics, and short stories. Don’t be discouraged by that. Keep doing it, but realize you’re going to need a dose of realism to go along with your aspirations.

Why It’s Rewarding: The job market is incredible.

The job market is incredible
If you’re dependable, treat it like a business, work quickly, are a good proofreader, know how to extrapolate on trends before everyone else has had their say, and demonstrate a command of things like basic HTML, photo editing, and WordPress, the sky is the limit. Sites like CraigslistFreelanceWritingGigs, and the ProBlogger Job Board have kept me fed for a very long time. So have referrals. (Which means, when you get a job, do your best with it and don’t burn any bridges.)

Sucks: It’s difficult to stay active.

standup desk
You sit at a computer all day, sometimes for 10 or 14 hours. It becomes tougher and tougher to start exercising. (Hint: make friends with the standup desk.)

Rewarding: You’re not flipping burgers or working retail.

flipping burgers sucks
Fast food and retail: I still have nightmares that one day I’ll have to go back to them. It motivates me to work harder and to wrap my arms around the writing process.

Sucks: You have to do a lot of research.

You have to do a lot of research
Research feels fruitless when you’ve been staring at a computer screen all day and your eyes are bugging out of your head. After all, you don’t get paid on research. You get paid on the final piece. Still, it’s a necessary evil if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about.

Rewarding: You get to be creative.

You get to be creative
Through the years I’ve learned to love any subject that pays me. Something about getting money and a “job well done” from your clients fuels your creativity, even if you’re writing about seat covers and real estate.

Sucks: You make enemies.

People are, by and large, cowards, and they’ll act a lot braver from behind their keyboards than they will to your face. The worst thing you can do is read comments and get caught in combat with an anonymous Internet troll because it doesn’t matter what kind of content you write, someone will eventually chime in to say something disrespectful. The best thing you can do is develop a thick skin and let people say what they’re gonna say.

Rewarding: You get people talking.

Rewarding You get people talking
When someone gets wrapped up in something you’ve written — when they respond to it thoughtfully and intensely — when they’re moved by a piece or engage in lively discussion with others — that’s incredibly rewarding and works wonders for your confidence.

How to Choose the Perfect Career

“good ‘ole days” when you were young? Remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? Maybe it was an astronaut. Maybe it was a teacher, lawyer, or veterinarian. And what are you doing now? Chances are that it’s not exactly what you had planned as a kid. And if it is, then here’s a huge bag of kudos and touche for you from us
For the rest of you, though, I give you the following advise—complete with a few kickass quotes.

I. Do What You Love

Do What You Love cooking
Cliche? Probably. Is it true? Absolutely. Granted, reality generally dictates that not all of us can or will ever be a ‘CEO’ or the President of the United States. They’re surely lofty goals, but there must be some balance between ‘reality’ and ‘grand ambitions’. That’s not to say you shouldn’t dream, and not even to not dream BIG. The key = balance.
Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life. ― Confucius
Finding a career that you’ll genuinely love and look forward to completing every day is (or should be) the single most important criteria in determining your professional journey.

II. Know Thyself

doing some soul searching-the-boss-is-coming
This means doing some soul searching. Think about your personal interests, your skill strengths (aptitudes), weaknesses, personality, beliefs, values, and—maybe above all—passions. Make a list of your qualifications and skills, and specifically list every job responsibility you’ve ever held. Then, draft a list of all of your long-term goals. What do you want your life to look like in five years? In 10 years? How much money do you aspire (or expect) to make? Determine the type of future lifestyle you’ll want and whether you’ll want a job, career, or both. In other words, do you want to be able to leave the office behind every night when the clock turns 5:00pm, or a multimillionaire who has worked tirelessly to get there?
“Making money isn’t hard in itself, what’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting your life to.” ― Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n

III. Determine What Type of Career and Work Environment You Want/Need

What Type of Career and Work Environment You Want
Questions to ask yourself and jot down:

  • Do I want a set schedule, or a job with flexible hours? Which of these motivates me to get the job done more?
  • What type of physical environment would be suit me? Indoors? Outdoors? Both?
  • How much interaction with the general public and/or coworkers am I looking for?
  • Am I more suited to a leadership position, or one where I mainly follow the direction of superiors?
  • Do I want a job that requires a lot of travel or one that allows me to come home (to relax, spend time with family, etc.) every night?
  • Which jobs would best complement my personality (e.g. introverted, extroverted, etc.), ambitions, and overall life needs?

Write down a few sentences about your ideal work environment based on your answers. Be realistic as possible, but at the same time—and this will be repeated—don’t limit the possibilities based on merely one or two conflicts with your ideal career and work space.
“Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world–to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.” ― Ayn Rand

 IV. Talk To a Career Counselor–Get a Career Assessment

Talk To a Career Counselor
Consider taking a qualified career assessment test or two and answer them truthfully. Afterwards, see how the results align with your prior, personal self-assessment. Any career assessment test worth its salt should give you multiple career possibilities based on your desired lifestyle, skills, personality and so forth. Although most employment agencies and universities provide fee-based assessments (sometimes called ‘individual career development plans’), there’s a myriad of good, free ones on online. For college students it’s usually free; for others, community (aka ‘junior’) colleges are typically a good place to look for reasonably priced tests.
“If you don’t wake up in the morning excited to pick up where you left your work yesterday, you haven’t found your calling yet.” ― Mike Wallace

V. Do Your Homework

Once you’ve got the results from at least one good assessment, research the crap out of the suggested careers. Study job descriptions, outlook for the fields (i.e. “realistically, what are my chances of getting this type job when I actually go to apply?” and “will there still be demand for my skills?”), the required education and skills, opportunities for career growth, typical benefits and so forth. An excellent resource to start with? Try the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, which boasts a goldmine of information about thousands of career fields and paths, career prospects, average salaries, working conditions, benefits and more.

VI. Talk to Veteran Professionals in Your Chosen Field(s)

Talk to Veteran Professionals in Your Chosen Field
Talk to people with years of experience in your desired career(s). Ask as many questions and get as much advice from the professional as possible. Could this person also be your very own mentor? If so, never pass up such an invaluable apprenticeship. “Where do I find  these professional mentors?”, you might ask. Trade shows, industry/market conferences and workshops, universities (the vast majority of tenured professors have formerly worked extensively in their field.

VII. Check Out the Princeton Review Career Quiz

Check Out the Princeton Review Career Quiz
Take a minute to register at the Princeton Review and take their test just to get started. And keep in mind, there are tons of other free, quality online career assessment tests. After your done, take note of what you’ve learned about yourself and what you may be best at doing for the rest of your life (no pressure there!), but don’t take the results as absolute, either.

VIII. Draft a Career Plan, Set Goals

Draft a Career Plan, Set Goals
Time to really get serious. Take everything you’ve learned about your prospective career(s)—e.g. from career assessments, advisers, lists, research…—-and draft a plan of action, and set things in motion. The point is not to go all gung-ho, but just to get started.
“The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

IX. Get the Necessary Training

Be realistic: The lions share of any decent-paying, life-fulfilling jobs require at least some post-secondary education, skills, and actual experience. That said, choose the right school, and get on-the-job training and/or an internship if at all possible. Any related experience you can pick up counts! Internships get you invaluable firsthand experience, particularly if you can afford to have a non-paying job for a short stint. Check out sites such as Monster and; regularly check internship postings and apply often.

 X. Summary

Choose the Perfect Career

  •  Kill negative or career-hindering preconceptions about yourself, career ambitions and ‘reality’. For example, many people fall into the “I’d love to do that, but…” trap. Never limit yourself like that; don’t be afraid to push the proverbial envelope (the ‘envelope’ here being your future career).
  • Never pursue a career just for the big bucks and benefits: Don’t even do it for mainly the money. Follow your heart and your passion, even if in the beginning it does pay crappier than that ‘guaranteed’ 100k/year job. 
  • As it relates to the last point, do you know who the top 10% of income earners in the U.S. are? Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs: I.E. People who followed their passions instead of blindly ‘following the money’, that’s who.
  • Ignore the naysayers. Laugh in their faces and go prove them wrong. Let no family member, friend or anyone else tell you what you “should be doing”. You are the master of your mind, the captain of your soul. Do what YOU want to do, that which makes you look forward to every single day at “work”. And make no mistake, this is all about you.
  • Be realistic about your skills, as most careers do require at least some of them to get your foot in the door. And if you don’t have the right skills, go get them. The world is yours.
  • “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

10 Cringeworthy Business Jargon Examples that Should Be Banned

Jargon is used in every industry and profession, and business jargon ranks as one of the most commonly used forms of jargon. These over-used terms add little to the speaker’s statements, can be distracting, and are often grammatically incorrect.

Furthermore, numerous research studies have found that business jargon makes people think you’re lying and that using complex language in place of simple language makes other people perceive you as less intelligent. In other words, business jargon impresses few but annoys many. Here are 10 cringeworthy business jargon examples that you should omit from your vocabulary immediately. Yes, you might need to continue using them while you’re speaking with individuals who embrace the use of big words rather than just getting to the point. However, don’t forget that research shows the more succinct you are, the more trustworthy and intelligent people think you are.

1. SOP

sopExample: “We need a clear definition of SOPs.”
What It Means: SOP is an acronym for Standard Operating Procedures.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: Using an acronym to stand for a long name when a simpler term could be used is simply a tool to determine who is in the “in crowd” and who isn’t. If you don’t use it, you’re not one of us. Only you can decide if you want to play that game or not.
Tip: When you see the use of SOP in a job description, don’t apply.

2. Ideation

Thinking-ideationExample: “Let’s schedule an ideation session.”
What It Means: Ideation is defined as the process of forming ideas.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: Similar to replacing the word discussion or talk with the word dialogue (e.g., “Let’s have a dialogue about that later.”), ideation is an example of using a more complex word where a much simpler word could be used. Remember the research — your intelligence perception drops when you replace simple words with complex words where it’s not necessary.
Tip: The best way to handle “ideation” is “avoidation.”

3. Vertical

vertical-curtsyExample: “We’re ramping up in multiple verticals.”
What It Means: It depends on who you ask.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: In the words of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Verticals is used in numerous ways depending on who you’re speaking with.
Tip: Make sure you know which version of verticals your colleagues are using before you join the conversation.

4. Marketing Funnel

Example: “We’re going to push consumers through the marketing funnel.”
What It Means: To move consumers from awareness of a product, service, company or brand to purchase, re-purchase, loyalty, and advocacy.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: When I was in college, my Marketing 101 textbook referred to it as a pyramid. Now, it’s a funnel. The fundamentals of marketing process haven’t changed, but the cool kids are saying funnel now. If you want to be in the cool clique, use funnel.
Tip: It’s better to be smart than cool. Don’t get caught up in the funnel.

5. Lean In

Example: “Women in business need to lean in to get a seat at the executive table.”
What It Means: Making it look like you’re involved in a conversation or really listening by physically leaning in closer to the speaker. The term also has a metaphorical meaning, which refers to metaphorically leaning in to get noticed and seize opportunities in business and in your career.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: This term gained popularity with the release of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In. Do you want to lean in or grab your opportunity? One is more passive than the other. It’s up to you to decide how you want to handle your career.
Tip: This term is so overused that it should be banned from business vernacular.

6. On Board

Example: “I’m not completely on board with that idea.”
What It Means: You disagree.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: Saying you’re not on board with something is an attempt to be non-confrontational and avoid boldly expressing your opinion. Most people use this term when they don’t want to take the blame if their idea or position fails later.
Tip: Be bold and state your opinion with confidence rather than passively suggesting that you’re not entirely on board with another person’s idea.

7. Thought Leader

Example: “He is a professional coaching thought leader.”
What It Means: A person is an expert on a specific topic and has some influence on how other people think about that topic.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: The term thought leader has become completely watered down in recent years with the growth of the self-proclaimed thought leader. It’s most often seen in the field of social media marketing where individuals who know how to use Facebook and Twitter but have very little (or no) marketing experience or education, claim to be social media thought leaders.
Tip: If you’ve got the experience and education, then declare yourself an expert. You’ve earned it. Let everyone else call themselves thought leaders.

8. Inbound Marketing

Example: “We need to invest in inbound marketing to drive our customers through the marketing funnel.”
What It Means: Led by the creation of quality content, inbound marketing refers to all online marketing tactics that drive consumers to interact with a brand or company and lead to conversions and/or sales.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: Inbound marketing is just a new term to refer to using the newer tools of social media, online content publishing, and direct marketing to engage consumers and develop pull marketing rather than relying on traditional push marketing tactics such as advertising. Someone created a term and marketed it well. A lot of people who don’t completely understand marketing jumped on the bandwagon. Someone is making a lot of money as a result.
Tip: Inbound marketing is a new term but it’s not a completely new form of marketing. Look smarter than the people around you and don’t use this term.

9. Low Hanging Fruit

Low Hanging Fruit
Example: “Let’s go after the low hanging fruit first.”
What It Means: The easiest projects and goals that represent quick wins for the company.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: Aside from the argument against focusing on quick win projects rather than evaluating all projects and investing in those that will deliver the best results for the company in the long run, the term “low hanging fruit” is so overused that it now fails to communicate its intended message. In other words, don’t try to make your decision to do the easiest projects first sound more strategic than it really is.
Tip: Call them what they are — the easy, quick projects that will get the executives their bonuses this year.

10. Close the Loop

not doing your job
Example: “We need to close the loop on this project.”
What It Means: You need to complete the project, track its performance, and report the results. In other words, everyone needs to do their jobs.
Why You Shouldn’t Use It: If you have to point out that your team or employees need to close the loop, you’ve already failed. If you can’t actually finish the project and do everything you’re supposed to do, then closing the loop is the least of your worries.

10 Ways to Get Fired and How to Avoid Them

Aside from not doing your job, there are many ways you can guarantee that you’ll get fired from your job.

Few people like every aspect of their jobs, and it’s highly likely that throughout your career, you’ll be asked to perform tasks and work with people you don’ t like. However, you’re being paid to do a job, and it’s your responsibility (as long as you’re still accepting your salary) to complete the work assigned to you.
Following are 10 of the easiest ways to get fired as well as tips to avoid them. You might not even realize you’re making some of these mistakes, so review your behavior and make sure you’re not providing your boss with reasons to fire you.

1. Not Showing Up

stay home
Repeatedly showing up late to work or calling in sick is not acceptable. Your coworkers depend on you to pull your weight, and opting out is not an option. Continually missing work is grounds for termination, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself out of a job if you’re guilty of skipping work too often. The only way to avoid this problem is to get yourself to work each day.

2. Refusing to Do Specific Tasks

Of course, if you’re asked to do something illegal or that is far outside of your job description and area of expertise, you should speak up and discuss it professionally with your boss (no complaining allowed). However, if a task falls within your job function, you have to do it. You’re not allowed to pick and choose which tasks you do. That’s up to your boss and your employer.

3. Refusing to Work with Certain People

Unless you can prove why working with another employee is a danger to you, you can’t pick and choose who you work with. You’ll come across many people that you don’t like throughout your career, but you have to learn to tolerate them and work with them. You’re not being paid to make friends. You’re being paid to perform a role. Your personal preferences shouldn’t get in the way. Speak to your boss and ask for guidance in learning to work with the other person.

4. Publishing Inappropriate Content on Social Media

Even if your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and other social media profiles are private, the content you publish on those sites can be seen by people outside of your personal connections. For example, that tweet you published on your private account can be viewed by the world if it’s retweeted by one of your followers with a public account. Be careful what you say on social media. Avoid complaining about your boss, your company, or your job and never publish proprietary information.

5. Working on Another Job During Work Hours at Your First Job

If you have a night job in addition to your full time day job or you’re starting your own company in your spare time, you should never spend time while you’re at your primary job doing anything related to those other jobs. It’s unethical and grounds for firing. If you need to make phone calls or send emails about your side job, do so during your lunch hour or breaks. Never do it during the time you’re being paid by your primary employer.

6. Making Too Many Personal Calls, Spending Too Much Time Online on Non-Work Related Activities

Your time at your job should be spent working, not making personal calls or browsing the web. Don’t check your Twitter feed or take a quick peak at your Facebook profile. Wait until your lunch hour for any personal activities. Of course, most employers understand that employees need to make occasional personal calls during work hours, such as calling doctors offices. Confirm what you’re allowed to do with your boss. If personal calls are permitted when necessary, don’t take advantage of the policy by abusing it. Limit your personal calls to ones you can only make during work hours. The rest should wait.

7. Stealing

Never take anything from your workplace unless you’re given express permission to do so. A box of paper clips might seem small, but taking it home and using it for your personal needs is stealing. If you need equipment or supplies at your home in order to do your job, request permission to have access to those items.

8. Using Company Resources for Personal Reasons

It is not okay to use the company printer to print out your personal correspondence. It’s not okay to bring home disks to load software on your personal computer, and it’s not okay to use company email for personal messages. Get your own printer. Buy your own software, and get a free email account through a provider like Google that you can access via your mobile device during your lunch hour. Never use company property and resources for personal reasons unless you’re given permission to do so.

9. Being Difficult to Work With

yelling at each other
Are you difficult to work with? You might be without realizing it. If you come across as highly negative, as a complainer, or as a low performer, your reputation will land you on the metaphorical employee black list. You might not get fired immediately, but you’ll be paving a path to getting fired in the future.

10. Refuse to Work Late or Come in Early

There are times when a project needs to be completed by a specific deadline or an employee calls in sick. When that happens, you might be asked to work late or come in early. If you’re unwilling to be flexible and show that you’re willing to support the company as needed, you can bet your boss won’t be happy. Is this right? Of course not, but it happens. If your employer expects you to work a significant amount of extra hours that you’re unable or unwilling to commit to, you should look for another job. Even though you shouldn’t feel obligated to work these extra hours, the perception of you as not being a team player will put you on the path to a dead end career with the company (and possibly firing). It’s not right, but it’s often the reality. If this culture isn’t right for you, get out now.