Top 10 Signs You Are a Bad Employee

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The military has a heavily regulated structure in place to enforce discipline and foster excellence, but the civilian world doesn't always offer an equivalent system. Some companies are very strict about correcting troublesome behavior, while others are more fluid or laid-back. Regardless, understanding some of the top 10 signs that you're a bad employee, as described by Forbes, will help you thrive in a civilian team.

1. You're Never on Time

Timeliness is one of the most critical functions of any job. Someone who can't be relied upon to show up on time will be seen as a drag on morale and resources and will soon lose respect. It's one of the easiest, most manageable aspects of your career, so shirking it will lead to trouble.

2. You Find Yourself Frequently Excusing Your Actions

If you find yourself frequently explaining away your actions, you may have a problem. Even if you believe that your excuses are valid, repetitive and problematic behavior isn't easily forgotten. It's important to understand what it takes to finish a job and what's expected of you to get it done.

3. You Aren't Willing to Handle Unexpected Assignments

The nature of any job is relatively fluid; rarely does paid work come with fixed, predictable schedules. If something unexpected falls on your lap, receiving it bitterly or refusing it outright will serve as a stark black mark on your reputation. Everyone in the office is in the same boat, and refusing the unexpected may be seen as a sign that you're unwilling to shoulder your share.

4. You Are Frequently Gossiping

It may be very hard to resist, but gossip is toxic. Even lighthearted backbiting can damage your reputation. Workplaces are small, enclosed social environments, and contributing to the rumor mill doesn't do anyone any good. If you do it too frequently, not only will you potentially hurt those around you, but people will lack respect for you as a professional.

5. You Believe You're the Smartest Person in the Workplace or Don't Respect Your Co-Workers

It's not unusual to be frustrated by the faults in others: They're easy to see and allow you to shift criticism off yourself. However, if you find yourself always complaining to yourself about how useless those around you are, then you have a problem to deal with. This type of attitude tends to bleed out in your interactions with others, so even if you don't say that everyone is incompetent, your body language, tone and attitude eventually will.

6. You Do Not Respect Your Company's Mission or Values

A company's mission and values aren't there for fun; the higher-ups put plenty of thought into them and try to ensure that their company embodies them. If you show open disdain for the mission and values, you'll most likely be seen as more of a drag than a boon to the company. Even if both seem fake or overbearing, a measured level of respect for their existence and purpose will go a long way.

7. You Are Unproductive Compared to Your Co-Workers

If you can get a solid read on the productivity of your co-workers, then it never hurts to compare your output to theirs. If you see a wide gap in how much they accomplish versus how much you get done, then you are most likely due for some introspection. If you aren't pulling your weight, eventually people will notice. It may take awhile, depending on how many people are affected by your work, but you should never underestimate how noticeable your contribution can be.

8. No One in the Office Likes to Work with You

Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's tricky to read, but if people don't like to work with you, then something needs to be addressed. It's one thing to butt heads with one co-worker, but if everyone seems to shun you, then the issue is most likely with you. If you can't figure out why no one likes to work with you, it may be time to discuss with your boss how you can be a stronger team player.

9. You or Your Boss Frequently Need to Apologize to Clients

It's normal to make a mistake once in a while, but it isn't normal for your work to necessitate frequent apologies to clients. Whatever the reason, shoddy work damages not just your reputation as an employee, but the company's reputation as a whole. It's best to avoid this situation entirely by frequently examining your work and ensuring it meets or exceeds expectations.

10. You Don't Accept Being Told No

Whether from a co-worker or boss, at some point in everyone's career, they will receive no for an answer. It's normal to debate -- sometimes vigorous conversation can be constructive and beneficial -- but if you are absolutely stubborn about rejection, then you'll be a burden instead of an asset. Even if you're completely convinced that you're right, refusing to acknowledge a decision will only damage your reputation.

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