3 Personal Issues That Will Hurt Your Job Or Promotion Opportunities (And How You Can Fix Them)

personal issues at work

Work is an essential part of most of our lives. It’s how most people support themselves and the ones they love. It’s how we use our talents to make a contribution to society. For most people, work not only gives us a source of income, but it gives more meaning to our lives.

As such, it is important to always put your best foot forward on the job, and to make certain that your personal life does not negatively affect your work.

Seemingly trivial behaviors like taking private phone calls at work, being active on social media sites or choosing to smoke cigarettes could ultimately impact your work. These behaviors could cause you to miss out on promotion opportunities, or even worse, they could cause you to lose your job altogether.

We think there are a few steps everyone can take to help  protect their career from any potential self-sabotage.


1. Taking Private Calls at the Wrong Times

Personal phone calls on company time can possibly damage your reputation, your opportunity for promotion or even, your current position.

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For these reasons, it is best to simply avoid personal phone calls while at work. Here are some tips on avoiding excessive personal calls:

- Ask your friends and family members not to call you at work.

- Let them know that you don’t want to do anything that could have adverse effects on your productivity at work.

- If there is a situation going on at home and you need to be kept informed, arrange a time when you can call them to check in.

Break time or your lunch hour is the only time that you should participate in a private call, and even then you should be discrete. Make arrangements for others to send you a text message in case of emergency. This way the ringing of your cell phone won’t disturb co-workers and you can return the message or make a return call when it’s convenient for you to do so.


2. Having A Less Than Stellar Image on Social Media

Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. – can sync together to create a very large, diverse, interpersonal network. Originally thought of as a forum for socializing between friends, personal accounts have expanded to include both personal and professional connections.

It’s easy to forget that things posted on one social media platform will transition to every other social media account you have, if they are all linked together. With that being said, having a questionable image or post on social media can have a dramatic impact on how your co-workers and boss see you as a person.

While you might think that you have a right to do whatever you want while away from the job, your colleagues,  boss or other members of the management team may not see it that way. They might think that your behavior reflects negatively on the company’s image. And this could ruin your chance of moving up in the company or to another company.

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There are two main ways of solving this particular dilemma.

- The first is to refrain from posting any type of questionable pictures or comments on social media sites.

- The second way to prevent your private life from mingling with your professional career is to set all your social media account settings to private and to avoid adding or accepting people you work with.

By limiting access to your social media pages, you reduce the risk of information you post being seen or misinterpreted by your coworkers.


3. Being A Smoker

The habit of smoking has shifted from being sexy  to simply unattractive. Smoking to a non-smoker tends to offer nothing more than bad health, and a lingering smell that is less than pleasant. In fact, people who don’t smoke typically smell residual cigarette smoke quite quickly and intensely. Surprisingly, this can contribute to non-smokers preferring not to work closely with smokers.

Smoking also tends to take you away from your tasks more often than those who do not smoke. This means that less work is done even though you have the same hours in your workday as your non-smoking colleagues. It’s easy to take a longer than expected lunch break in order to get in that last cigarette too. Smoking, as we all know, pays a toll on your health as well, which can result in missed days from work that end up putting you behind in your job responsibilities.

You might not think that your employer notices these seemingly innocuous behaviors, but rest assured that your habits are well known. The only real solutions to these smoking related issues is to cut smoking out of your life for good. You might be surprised at how much of a positive impact quitting smoking has on your life overall – both in the workplace and in your personal life. The only regret you’ll have is that you didn’t do it sooner.

Roxana Saidi

In June 2011, Roxana became the third founding team member of The Kerry Gaynor Method. Kerry’s mission to rid the world of cigarettes was a very personal one as many of her friends and acquaintances had already quit smoking thanks to Kerry. Roxana regards her role at the company not as a position, but instead as a leader in a movement to eradicate death, suffering and illness due to cigarettes.



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