“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.” –Drew Carey (1958 – ), Actor, Comedian, and Game Show Host
You may hear the words coming from the whispers of coworkers. You might assess your current situation negatively during a moment of frustration: “I suck at my job.” This short but powerful statement has the potential to lower your confidence, increase your anger, and reduce opportunities at your place of employment.
If you feel that the statement “I suck at my job” accurately describes your present situation, you must find a path that will allow you to move forward. Is this statement an accurate assessment of your work ethic and interactions with your coworkers? Are you a bad fit for the current corporate culture? Did you simply stop caring?
1. You Annoy Your Colleagues:
An obvious way to get colleagues to dislike you is to annoy them. When an employee does not get along with anyone else, something about that person’s character bothers or upsets their peers. If you fall into this self-isolating category, you either need to investigate the cause or look for employment elsewhere.
Sometimes the reasons appear obvious. For example, an employee who receives preferential treatment over their coworkers usually annoys others in the same workspace. Consider some of the remaining reasons on this list as you determine why others may harbor animosity toward you.
2. You Never Do More than the Minimum:
“If you find what you do each day seems to have no link to any higher purpose, you probably want to rethink what you’re doing.” –Ronald Heifetz (1951 – ), Leadership Educator
In many work settings, employees measure their performance and compensation by comparing themselves with their peers. A staff member who does the bare minimum and flaunts this lack of a work ethic will win few admirers. Everyone has a bad day or performs poorly on occasion, but a pattern of unproductive behavior frustrates colleagues.
People who do not pull their weight garner negative attention. Those who complain or react with dramatic exasperation when asked to do a simple task harm their reputation.
3. You Miss Deadlines and Arrive Late:
Whether you earn an hourly wage or hold an exempt position, others in your place of employment expect you to complete tasks in a timely manner. Submitting an assignment late, missing a meeting because you overslept, or leaving your colleagues to cover your commitments creates an impression that you are unreliable or unconcerned about the company and your coworkers.
Punctual people occasionally miss deadlines due to emergencies and exceptional circumstances. Procrastinators and those habitually tardy have few allies when they request a deadline extension.
4. You Have Endless Excuses:
A sure-fire way for others to claim that “I suck at my job” is to inundate them with excuses. When you deflect blame and fail to hold yourself accountable, others lose their trust and respect for you. With omnipresent social and professional online networks, awareness of you losing your credibility in one place may follow you to your next employer.
Accept responsibility and acknowledge your mistakes. Rather than making excuses, suggest solutions to resolve the situation.
5. You Place Endless Demands on Others:
The second part of the one-two punch that starts with excuses occurs when you make demands of others. A certain way to give the impression that I suck at my job is to avoid personal responsibility while demanding heightened accountability from peers.
This example also holds true for a different type of demand: when you make excessive demands from your employer while deflecting blame. While you should always negotiate for the best work arrangement possible, it is unrealistic to assume that an employee who never accepts responsibility should receive a large salary, cushy job duties, and generous benefits.
6. You Refuse to Focus on Your Strengths:
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word—excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” –Pearl S. Buck (1892 – 1973), Author and Novelist
You convinced a boss or search committee that you had the skills to do a job when they hired you. Sometimes people fail to perform to their full potential or obsess over small tasks rather than focus on the larger picture. You may stay below the radar for awhile, but inevitably others will notice that you have ignored some areas of your job assignment.
Communicate with your supervisor if you have questions. Inquire at human resources to see if there are in-service training opportunities, courses, or mentoring resources available. Rather than withdraw, find ways to expand your knowledge base.
7. You Ignore or Fail to Accept Feedback:
Accept constructive criticism, even if it comes from a supervisor or team member you do not like. Carefully examine your annual review and other evaluations, asking questions if anything remains unclear.
By remaining open to correction and feedback, you send a message that you respect your employer and want to be a part of its success. Give your coworkers and the management team the impression that you value their guidance and suggestions, even if you may feel jealously or other negative feelings about the process.
8. You Brag and Gossip:
Arrogance wins few admirers. While all of us can find faults in other people, giving the impression that you believe you are better than anyone else will not win any awards from your colleagues. You do not have to say this verbally; your attitude and body language may also show disrespect to other employees.
Avoid water cooler gossip. Refrain from falling into the rumor mill foxhole. Participating in toxic talk and sharing harmful and unconfirmed stories damages your reputation. Others will view you as less than professional for spreading or perpetuating falsehoods.
9. You Have Little Respect for the Company’s Values or Mission:
“If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter.” –John Gotti (1940-2002), American Gangster
Disliking your place of employment is one thing, but working against the core mission or values of the enterprise shows great disrespect. Mission statements may sometimes seem lofty or idealistic, but these values define how your employer’s senior leadership team want to be regarded among their peers.
Even in those instances where your current employer has a less than stellar ethical track record or a terrible past, you do yourself no favors remaining there if it makes you spiteful and scornful. If you have little regard for the place where you work, consider your options, revise your resume, and look for an alternative workplace.
10. You Refuse to Accept “No” as an Answer:
Each of us has to endure uncomfortable moments in our lives. One way for workers to believe that I suck at my job is to react negatively when told “no” at work. Whether this response comes as a reply to your request or in response to your contributions to a project, accept their denial or critique and move forward.
Instead of reacting with anger or hostility, request clarification in a polite manner. Do not let a company or supervisor’s negative response to your question spiral downward into a trajectory that harms your reputation or gives the impression that you are stubborn or a burden to the business.
11. You Refuse to Say “No” and Cannot Meet Expectations:
Some employees make a different miscalculation by trying to take on too much responsibility or too many assignments. If you overcommit and fail to deliver, you send a message to others that you cannot manage expectations. If this decision harmed the ability of coworkers to complete their jobs or jeopardized a contract, they will lose respect for you as well.
Rather than overcommitting yourself and overburdening your peers, assume tasks in a responsible manner. Ask for support or additional help if needed. Refrain from creating problems and work-related stresses that are totally avoidable.
12. You Lose Your Confidence or Motivation:
If you make mistakes that require you or your boss to apologize to others, your supervisor and peers may lose confidence in your ability to complete your assigned duties. Losing motivation, then pride, and finally becoming a poor performer that your coworkers no longer trust is a domino effect you wish to avoid. When others sense that you have lost your confidence, drive, and ambition, you may prompt them to seek a replacement for you that has more energy and motivation.
Even if you have an employer that fails to offer professional development opportunities, you have the ability to network through online and in-person groups and professional associations. Build your industry-related connections even if you do so outside of your place of employment. These new connections may introduce you to other career opportunities if you decide to go back into the job market.