How to Not Get In Trouble At Work


Staying out of trouble at work is not only good for your job security, it's also good for your job satisfaction. Refraining from inappropriate workplace behavior and committing your time and energy to your job responsibilities can improve your chances of getting ahead. Doing so also helps you develop good work habits and sustain productive relationships with your co-workers.

Give an Honest Day's Work

  • You're paid to work; you're not paid to surf the Internet, read that novel you didn't want to put down last night or spend hours in the break room gossiping with co-workers. Not putting in your best effort and giving your employer an honest day's work in exchange for your wages can land you in hot water. Don't cheat your employer out of the time for which you're being paid. If you have to work occasional overtime or spend part of your weekend completing an important project, refrain from griping about it.

Your Employer's Property

  • During your orientation, your employer likely explained rules about using company property for job-related duties. Follow your employer's rules about engaging in personal activities on the company's computer network. If you need to send personal emails, update your resume or play online games, use your own computer or device. If your employer permits use of company computers for, say, online shopping during the holidays or the occasional personal email, don't abuse that privilege by spending half your time on the company's computer taking care of personal business.

Respect Your Superiors

  • Show respect to your supervisors and managers. They're in leadership roles either because they have great technical skills or because they're good at managing employees. Even if you're not crazy about your boss's management style, don't complain about your boss to co-workers. And if your co-workers are the type who bad-mouth the boss, don't let them drag you into the fray.

Everything Isn't Black and White

  • At some point in your career, you're bound to encounter some gray areas or times when the job you signed up for isn't exactly what's on paper. The reason many job descriptions include such disclaimers as, "And all other duties assigned," is because your list of tasks isn't all-inclusive and you might have to complete tasks that aren't on your formal job description. Turn those assignments into opportunities to demonstrate newly acquired skills or talents your supervisor didn't know about. By doing so, your supervisor might see your potential for greater responsibilities, career advancement and higher pay.

Know Your Rights

  • Even if you're not entirely satisfied with your job and find it necessary to speak up about working conditions, pay or benefits, know your rights as an employee and the proper way to voice your concerns. Understanding the company's policies and procedures, as well as employer obligations and employee rights, makes you an informed worker. In addition, knowing a little about employment law can help you avoid situations with co-workers that can lead to workplace discord or strained relationships.

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