When it comes to stuff you should never do on the job, some things are pretty obvious. Don’t be late. Don’t slack off. Don’t tick off your boss or co-workers.
But there are other pitfalls out there as well, and they might not be the things you would normally consider. Here are five that top the list.
- Staying offline: If you’re of a certain age you might still be scoffing at all the fuss over Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. That’s a mistake, say job hunting gurus, because these days a lot of employers are turning to these sites to learn more about prospective employees. If they can’t find you there, they’ll automatically think you’re a dinosaur and second guess any thoughts of hiring you. Of course, this also means you need to pay careful attention to what you post on these sites, because inappropriate behavior on social media will also get your name crossed off the list.
- Getting too close with co-workers: While you certainly do want to take part in group outings or other social or volunteering events sponsored by your department, be careful about becoming best friends with those you work with, and if you do, make sure your friendship doesn’t come off as a clique that excludes others on staff. A better tactic is to be friendly with everyone and inclusive of all who might want to join you for lunch in the cafeteria or a chat in the break room. The more allies you have on the job, the more likely you’ll be viewed as someone who can bring people together, and people who can bring people together are always coveted when it comes time to hand out promotions.
- Playing up your non-RT work experience: In this tough job market, many recent grads—and even some veterans—are forced to take jobs outside of respiratory care while they look for a position in the profession. That’s great (and necessary to make ends meet). But don’t make those jobs the focal point of your resume. Highlight your RT-related experience and education instead, including any volunteer work you may be doing while waiting for a position to open up (such as working at an asthma camp or taking part in the DRIVE4COPD campaign).
- Relying on a pros and cons list: When faced with a job related decision, lots of people will make a “for and against” list, but don’t let a long list of “for’s” overtake your gut feeling about the decision. If, for example, you’re trying to choose between two job offers and one looks the best on paper (more pay, closer to home, etc.) but the other just feels right to you (you loved the hiring manager, the people seem great, you’ll get to expand your skills), then go with your gut. You’ll be happier in the long run, and happier employees are more likely to be promotable employees.
- Being unreasonably available: Of course you want to be there for your department, but that doesn’t mean you need to respond to every email or text the second you get it. Doing so makes it look like you have no other life and employers like well-rounded employees. So carefully assess that email. Does it call for an immediate response (such as, your boss is desperate for someone to cover the evening shift and it’s already 2:30 p.m.) or is it something less timely (a request for information that’s not really needed for a few days)? If you’re not needed asap, then you don’t have to respond asap either.