Unprofessional Habits

unprofessionalAre you unprofessional? More than likely, your answer is no. No one likes to admit they have unprofessional tendencies, but perhaps some of your worst habits are positioning you as unprofessional to others – and you don’t even know it. If you are guilty of any of the following, it may be time to clean up your act and do a little better.

Chronic lateness.

Perhaps it’s no big deal, or even a little endearing, for your friends to know you as “the guy who’s always late,” but your colleagues won’t find it so entertaining. Arriving 5 to 10 minutes late to lunch or dinner plans with your best friend may not be a big deal, but constantly arriving late to business appointments will get old, quick! Being habitually tardy can portray you as selfish or inconsiderate of other people’s time. Be sure to set your alarm early enough for you to get to scheduled meetings and prepare ahead of time.

Being unprepared for meetings.

We are often unprepared when we fail to manage our time. In addition to scheduling time for the meeting, add a solid 15 to 20 minutes to prepare necessary documents, handouts, or powerpoint presentations. Nothing is more unprofessional than calling a meeting, and failing to present valuable information. If you aren’t the one who has called the meeting, make sure you’re briefed and up to date on what the meeting is about. Come prepared with additional information to share or engaging ideas.

Failing to respond to emails.

We all receive our fair share of emails. However, failure to respond is inexcusable. 24 hours is a reasonable window of time to allow between responses. Anything more the 48 may warrant a follow-up, or in the worst case scenario, force your point of contact to look elsewhere. Even if you do not have the time to send an in-depth response, a simple acknowledgement can go a long way.