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Ten Mistakes Not to Make in Your Professional Career

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Mistakes to avoid at work

Summary: Being a trusted professional, and overall successful person, requires some thought and effort to make sure you are not overreaching your promises or underachieving in your communication methods.

Are you making one of these ten mistakes at work or elsewhere in your professional life? You may not even notice that you have one of these habits.

1. Profanity – Excessive and lazy swearing is at the top of the list of the worst things that you can be doing in a professional atmosphere. While an occasional slip-up may happen, don’t actively use profanity in your conversations with anyone, including supervisors, co-workers or clients.

2. Tardiness – When you set an appointment with someone, keep it. Being late is a sign of disrespect and that they aren’t worth your time. If you find yourself constantly late, ask a friend or family member to set your clocks fast by a few minutes but don’t let them tell you how much time they set it fast or you may find yourself giving those additional five minutes back to your morning, making you late still.

3. Unrealistic optimism – When a disaster happens and you insist everything is fine, this is undermining your professionalism. Your presentation was a complete failure so admit that you are disappointed. Now don’t go to the extreme opposite of this and be a complete downer either.

4. Staring – No matter how attractive the person is, keep your eyes on their face. Wandering eyes make you look creepy and unprofessional.

5. Disorganization – Whether you run your own business or work for a company, you have to stay organized. If you are receiving more emails a day than you can handle, then figure out a system to get through them faster. When you don’t answer co-workers or clients quickly, they will wonder if you have dropped the ball.

6. Unreliable – When you tell someone you will finish a project or be someplace at a certain time but then don’t follow through on that promise, you will lose a lot of respect and responsibility with them. Do what you say you will or let them in a reasonable amount of time that you can’t keep your promise.

7. Bad grammar and inarticulateness Speak like an educated grown up, not a valley girl or elementary school dropout. Nothing undermines your professional skills like being unable to effectively communicate with others.

8. Secrecy – While we aren’t saying you need to be divulging your private personal life, you do need to be open and honest with clients and colleagues. When you are dodging important information from others, you are damaging your reputation and waving red flags that scream “you can’t trust me”.

9. Lying and cheating – This one should be very obvious. Nothing good ever comes from lying and cheating in any part of our lives.

10. Overpromising – Don’t promise something unless you can actually deliver on it. You will lose trust, respect, and business by repeatedly promising great things but then never completing the promise.


Ten Mistakes Not to Make in Your Professional Career by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin