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7 Workplace Mistakes to AVOID

Angeline Haalck
Tax/Audit Associate

7 Workplace Mistakes to AVOID

With graduation season upon us, there is an influx of workers entering and reentering the workforce.  Whether it’s your first job or your fifth job, starting at a new company can be nerve racking.  Although every company has a unique culture, there are some general rules of thumb you can apply towards most jobs.  Avoid these common workplace mistakes when changing positions throughout your career.


  1. Don’t complain about your old job or boss.  You probably left your old job for a reason, and often that reason is you did not get along with your boss.  Whatever you do, do not bad-mouth your old company or boss.  Your new employer will see this as a red flag that you may do the same for them.  You don’t want to burn any bridges by bad-mouthing former employers or bosses.
  2. Stay away from the gossip.  I know it can be easy to get sucked into, but avoid the office gossipers.  Negatively talking about your peers reflects poorly upon yourself and creates a toxic environment.  It’s best to politely excuse yourself from the conversation and walk away.
  3. Clean up after yourself.  No one wants to work in a messy office.  Make sure you clean up after yourself in common areas such as the kitchen and restrooms.  I’m sure you do not like cleaning up after others, and I can assure you others do not like cleaning up after you.  Also, keep your personal workspace tidy and ensure you do not have mounds of papers stacked sporadically around your desk.  You don’t want your boss to think you are unorganized or careless, so take some time each day to clear your workspace or develop an organization system to store your papers in a tidier manner.
  4. Don’t be disrespectful.  Treat others as they want to be treated.  Watch your tone when you speak to others in conversation or when sending emails; you don’t want to give off the impression you are being rude or snippy.  Keep your speaking volume low, but audible, especially if you work in a small office setting as you do not want to disrupt others.  Try to keep your personal conversations to a minimum and avoid taking personal calls at your desk.
  5. Do not use profanity.  Some office cultures are fine with it, but most are not.  Try to refrain from using profanity or offensive words while at work.  Remember, you are a representative of the company and your behavior reflects such.
  6. Avoid questionable topics or conversations.  Avoid discussing politics, religion, and any other controversial topics at work.  It is generally not the place to have a debate with a coworker.  Save the conversation for your own time and again, remove yourself from any conversation that may be questionable.  The last thing you want to do is end up in the HR office.
  7. Give credit where credit is due.  Do not take credit for someone else’s work.  If a peer did the work or came up with an idea, give them credit.  There is no worse feeling than someone else taking credit for your creativity or hard work and your trust with that person will be lost.  Even if you worked as part of a team and ended up doing most of the work, it is always best to provide recognition of a job well done to the whole team.  Additionally, it reflects better upon yourself to acknowledge the team efforts rather than taking sole credit.  Think about it, you either fail as a team or you succeed as a team.


Angeline Haalck, Tax/Audit Associate


PKC Kuebler, APC is a full-service public accounting firm registered and licensed to practice as an accountancy corporation by the California Board of Accountancy . The information provided is intended for general tax and accounting needs. Articles are written for informational purposes only and should not be seen as any kind of advice. Content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes and it is advised you contact your CPA before taking any financial action. The opinions expressed in our articles do not reflect the opinions of any organizations in which we are affiliated with.

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