Whether you’re just starting out in your career (in which case, read 5 Professional Habits To Develop In Your 20s first) or a big-wig executive with a well-established repertoire, there are a few things we should avoid as professional women. Our business manager, Samantha, shares her professional don’ts below.
Habits range from big to small. From biting our nails and grinding our teeth to something a little more indulgent, we all have them. But are your bad habits affecting your professionalism in the workplace? Below is a list of things that a professional woman who wants to get ahead and succeed in her career never does in the workplace.
1. She Never Ignores an Inquiry.
Whether it be an email, text, Slack or DM, you are responsible for responding to each and every one. Honestly, it’s just rude not to. Someone has taken the time to reach out to you with a concern or request, so it’s your professional responsibility to respond, even if the answer is a polite, “no, thanks.” Ignoring communication in the workplace comes across as passive aggressive or even worse, lazy.
2. She Never Shows Up Unprepared.
Being flighty and “fly by the seat of your pants” isn’t endearing, it’s distracting. When you’re meeting with your fellow coworkers or a potential new client, you should have a plan of action in place, complete with deliverables. Showing up to a meeting unprepared is a lack of respect for the other person’s time and it’s pretty blatant.
3. She’s Not Tethered to Her Electronic Devices.
It’s OK, I’m addicted to my smartphone, too, but you need to know when to put the device down. For the sake of your career, I urge you to take this one seriously. The issue for most boss ladies is that the line between reality and digital is blurred; in fact, they’re pretty much one in the same. So it can be difficult to disconnect. Instagram can wait until after your meeting. Keep the phone in your bag unless you actually need it for the conversation.
4. She Doesn’t Refuse to Hop on the Phone for a Business Call.
Again, I get it. Our generation isn’t fond of talking on the phone and would prefer to text or email. But in business, sometimes it’s necessary for some real human communication. Things just get sorted out quicker over the phone or in person rather than over text. Put your big girl pants on and get over your fear of talking on the phone.
5. She Doesn’t Gossip About Other Boss Ladies.
You knew this was coming, right? It’s the big one. Just don’t do it. Not only does it make you look unprofessional to your team, but it just leaves a bad taste in their mouth. As a successful, confident woman in the workplace, you shouldn’t be concerned with the doings of others. Focus on your own success and keep the water cooler gossip out of it.
It’s fairly easy to slip into any of these bad habits when you’re dealing with business. However, I urge you to pay attention to your demeanor, actions and attitude and do everything you can to portray the confident, professional badass you really are.
Read more professional tips: Why Every Boss Lady Needs A Business Bestie and 10 Things I’ve Learned From Starting My Own Business.