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March 13, 2015

Habits to Get You Hired or Fired

Business

Jeff Cochran

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The quality of employees boils down to two things: they must perform efficiently and work well with others. Mastering these two traits requires discipline. Pouring a lot of effort into creating good habits will cause an employee’s performance improvement to be noticed, increasing the likelihood of getting hired or promoted. Likewise, bad habits may get employees disciplined, demoted, or fired.

Good Employee Habits 

  1. Repeat your boss’s words. Supervisors are often unsure if employees really understand and accept their instructions. The simplest listening tactic that communicates understanding is to repeat instruction in your own words. This gives your boss the assurance that you know how to do your job well.
  2. Anticipate requests. Instead of doing the minimum, do the maximum. You probably have a decent idea of what your boss wants you to do next without them telling you. The more you act responsibly without forcing supervisors to micromanage you, the more they will respect you and favor your service.
  3. Build relationships. Supervisors like a team player who works well with them and with other employees. Put some effort into small talk and build connections that will improve your work environment and productivity. Fostering good relationships at work can carry over into personal life, which is often encouraged by management when possible. 

Bad Employee Habits 

  1. Triggering your boss’ pet peeves. Everyone has irrational behaviors. When supervisors exhibit these, employees tend to respond in bitterness and resentment instead of humility and forgiveness. Instead of resenting your boss and intentionally provoking them or doing things your own way behind their back, consider their pet peeves as opportunities. If you are the only employee who successfully communicates empathy in this area and does not anger your boss, they will notice and favor you.
  2. “That’s not the way we’ve always done it.” This is one of the most crippling bad habits. The lack of willingness to think creatively or change one’s routine causes employees to resist changes in instruction. Instead of reacting with bitterness at the inconvenience, change your mind and be eager to win your boss’ favor through quick adaptation.
  3. Exploiting benefits. You’ve got free coffee in the break room or have an allotted time for breaks. Exploiting these and pushing your boundaries doesn’t go unnoticed as you may think. Continuing to abuse benefits may cause supervisors to enact stricter policies, decreasing your freedoms. Treat your freedoms responsibly and they will expand.

When you stick out as one of the few employees who has a good relationship with management, anticipates requests, follows direction, and doesn’t exploit benefits, your supervisors will notice and may give you added freedoms or privileges.

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