7 Deadly Sins You Should Never Commit in the Workplace

Work brings out the perfectionist in any overly-ambitious pro, but that doesn’t mean you’re perfect 24/7. It’s a given that you’re going to commit a faux pas every once in a while, even if it’s as simple as assuming that the random box of donuts left in the break room were free for you to devour…even though they were bought in celebration of a co-worker’s recent engagement. Oops!

Mistakes happen. But some cases of missteps are more severe, and require way more damage control that a simple apology—or trip to the bakery—can fix.

You’ve probably heard of the “7 Deadly Sins” being applied to real life, but what about your work life too? While the following “sins” aren’t deadly, be on the lookout for these seven ways that you can potentially hurt, or kill, your career. (Your sweet tooth, not so much).

Pride: the excessive belief in your own abilities

Confidence is a desirable trait, but cockiness leaves much to be desired. No one wants to work with someone that’s not open to feedback, or takes constructive criticism as a personal insult. Beware of being the type to talk back and talk big, because you’ll end up isolating your colleagues with such big-headed behavior. Hop off your high horse and join the people that will happily guide you and raise you up, if you’re open to self-improvement and letting them.

Envy: desiring someone else’s traits, status, abilities, or situation

Admiration is normal, especially when you’re constantly meeting cool pros at awesome networking events. But if you’re always comparing yourself to others, or making spiteful comments to diminish your colleague’s—or worse yet, entire team’s—accomplishments, then that’s a no-no that’s going to get you nowhere at work, and in life especially. Trust that you’re enough, and no one can take away your shine (so please, don’t try and take away anyone else’s).

Gluttony: the desire to consume more than what you really need

This goes beyond eating every snack in sight. If you’re the one hoarding your favorite bars from the communal kitchen, copping as much cool swag as you can without permission, and drinking all the wine at your company happy hour—these habits will make everyone that works with you sick to their stomach, because they know that deep down, you’re better than that!

Lust: an intense craving for the pleasures of the body

Listen, everyone falls victim to the office crush at one point in their career. But if you find yourself sneaking in closet hook ups or watercooler kisses, step away from the attractive coworker before you’re caught red-handed! You can’t control feelings, but you can control your impulses, in a professional environment no less. Every company has a different policy when it comes to office relationships, but when it comes to office etiquette, keep it appropriate! You never want to let a little lust come between you and an awesome job!

Anger: someone that gets furious when things don’t go their way

Pouting when you don’t get your way is something a child does, not a young-to-older adult. Life’s about handling on the curveballs thrown at you with grace, so don’t make blowing off steam your go-to mechanism for handling negative emotions or circumstances. Transfer all that adrenaline and energy into a project you’re excited about, or take a walk to get your creative juices flowing. There are tons of ways to get a smile on your face, and keep it there well until EOD.

Greed: the desire for material wealth or gain, at any cost

Behind every goal is a strong motivation to complete it. But sometimes, people confuse “wanting” something with “deserving” everything they desire. If you’re actively seeking all the praise, higher pay—and will do whatever it takes to get to the top of the career ladder, even if that means knocking down team members…take a step back. The best way to get ahead in a company, role, or industry is to share your experience and knowledge with others. Skeptical? Become a mentor to a kick ass pro, and you’ll see what we mean.

Sloth: avoiding physical or mental work

Laziness is not cute, not efficient, and so not your style! If you’ve been feeling sluggish and it shows in your work ethic, grab some caffeine, re-evaluate your goals, and get cracking! Networking events are the perfect place to soak in creative energy, and revitalize your productivity.


What are some “deadly sins” in the workplace you’d add to this list? Share in the comments!


About the Author

Christina is a writer with a terrible coffee/book addiction.

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