Graduates! 5 Types of Employees You Don’t Want To Be In Your New Job

25 September, 2014
Hannah Neocleous

Graduates! 5 Types of Employees You Don’t Want To Be In Your New Job

25 September, 2014
There’s no question about it– when you’ve graduated and finally found yourself a job you'll be dedicated to make a difference in the company and to further your own career, as well as your company’s goals. But are you unknowingly undermining yourself by the way you act in the workplace?

To make the most of your professional opportunities, make sure that your goals line up with your workplace actions. Every now and then, honestly evaluate your workplace habits and behaviors. Are you someone that people enjoy working with – and that companies want to hire? Well you will be, if you avoid becoming one of these 5 types of employees.

The Diva

If there’s a diva in your office, everyone knows who she is – and everyone tries to avoid. Just like the best-known entertainment divas, they feel like they’re simply better than everyone else – and should be treated that way.

Divas usually have the talent to back up their attitude – they’re often some of the highest-performing employees. However, the diva may use his or her own talent and accomplishments as a way to make coworkers feel bad about their contributions. In addition to having outsize egos, office divas also tend to shirk duties they simply don't like or want to do. Ask the office diva to do some so-called grunt work, and you're sure to hear about it later.

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How to avoid turning into the office diva? Don’t be afraid to celebrate personal accomplishments, but don’t let your ego get out of hand. And always be willing to pitch in and help out, no matter how menial the task.

The Daydreamer

Imagination and creativity have their places in any business. But the daydreamer, stuck in constant contemplation, takes it to the next level. And that can compromise the productivity of the dreamer and those around him.

Maybe the daydreamer is thinking about last night's promising date while pretending to answer client emails. Maybe he’s planning the week’s grocery list while in a meeting. And while a little daydreaming is okay, having your head in the clouds drags down your team's productivity – and forces your coworkers to pick up your slack. Daydreamers are great at escaping into fantasy, but doing so often costs them opportunities for advancement.

Want to avoid becoming the daydreamer? Stay on task and keep better track of your time. Make to-do lists. Limit mental breaks to ten minutes or so, and make sure you avoid falling into the black hole of Google or YouTube.  If you need to, use an anti-distraction app that limits your time on certain sites.

The Lone Wolf

Many successful entrepreneurs are perceived as loners who split off from the pack to blaze their own trail. And while independent-minded leaders may start businesses, lone wolves are rarely successful at running companies or contributing to team success.

The lone wolf in the office might not be an unpleasant person. In fact, she may be a hard worker and all-around great employee. The only problem? Lack of interest in teamwork or group collaborations. Team chemistry is important in any business environment, and many lone wolves find themselves on the outs when they fail to work well with others.

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How to avoid turning into the lone wolf? Make sure you’re interacting with your coworkers on a daily basis – even if your job tends to be solitary. Whether it’s saying good morning or inquiring about weekend plans, a few simple words can go a long way.

The Clinger

What’s the opposite of the lone wolf? The clinger, or the employee who just can't seem to do anything on his own.

It’s true that collaboration is key in most businesses. But there are times when employees are expected to handle projects on their own, and report back to the team after. The clinger just can’t do that, instead relying on everyone else for assistance and affirmation. He might ask for permission to make even the smallest decisions, or require feedback on every step of a task. Sure, we all need to hear that we're doing well from time to time, but clingers require too much reassurance, and take up too much of everyone’s time.

Think you’re at risk of becoming a clinger? Remind yourself that your manager hired you for a reason, and that he or she thinks you’re equipped to complete projects and make decisions on your own. Then, just go do it, whatever it is – without asking permission or demanding recognition.

The Whiner

Some days, you just don’t want to go to work. It’s understandable – even normal. But most employees can soldier through a case of the Mondays to get the job done. The only exception? The whiner.

A well-known presence in any office, the whiner stands out for all the wrong reasons. Instead of completing assigned tasks and working productively to get things done, the whiner complains about almost everything. And that does more than just make for an annoying coworker. Whiners also distract managers from real employee concerns, making it harder for everyone else to communicate their needs and get things done.

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If you’re worried about becoming a whiner, there’s really only one piece of advice – just stop. Buck up, get your work done, and move on (unless, of course, you have a legitimate gripe or concern).

Think you might be one of these 5 types of employees? The good news is that recognizing it is the first step toward changing it. If you're concerned that you’re the daydreamer or diva in your office, set a new plan for success… talk to your manager. It's never too late to change bad habits and become an employee that everyone wants to work with, and simple changes in attitude can have big returns.

Have you ever worked with one of the 5 types of employees no one wants to be? How did you handle it?


Abby Perkins is the Managing Editor at Talent Tribune, a blog dedicated to all things HR. You can find her on twitter here: @_abbytweets 

Instant Impact, the graduate recruitment agency, are always looking for more guest bloggers. If you have any contributions relevant to SME's, graduates or students get in touch! We'd love to hear from you.

If you loved this blog try this one: 8 Mistakes to Avoid on your First Day at your New Job

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