How Immature Behavior Can Sink Your Career

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 2015-10-07 Email

The majority of employees surveyed said they've witnessed childish behavior in the office—including whining, mocking and the forming of high school-level cliques—according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. These behaviors speak poorly about the participants, and they can derail careers. Managers said certain types of immature actions by employees—such as exhibiting extreme negativity, using vulgar language and participating in gossip—will make them reluctant to promote frequent offenders. It's important to remember that a place of work isn't a locker room or frat house, so you should always rise above a temptation to act in childish ways in the office. "Some degree of what we may consider adolescent conduct can be harmless, enabling employees to let off some steam and even promote a sense of camaraderie in the office," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. "But there's a fine line between innocent fun and inappropriate behavior. Actions like spreading rumors, 'tattling' and forming cliques that exclude others can be perceived as mean-spirited … and even harassment." As part of its research, CareerBuilder has come up with a list of extreme examples of childish behavior on the job, and we've included some of those here. More than 2,530 U.S. hiring and HR managers, along with nearly 3,040 employees, took part in the research, which was conducted by Harris Poll.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

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