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Avoid the 10 Worst Government Job Blunders

Avoid the 10 Worst Government Job Blunders

Kyle Stone | GovCentral Contributing Writer

5. Don’t Dilute Your Priorities

Personally, I am a pretty sociable guy. I like to smile a lot, try to offer a helping hand as often as possible, and generally like to break down the barriers between the job I do and the job my co-workers do. But there is a cut-off point; you need to always return to your main tasks, and make sure to get your main tasks finished before straying from them.

This is not always as easy as it sounds. Many times, co-workers will approach you while you’re in the middle of doing important work to ask for your help. If you turn them away too rudely, they might be hurt or annoyed. Try to be as kind as possible, and suggest a time later in the day when you are free to help them.

4. Don’t Be Late

From an employee perspective, there is nothing more obnoxious than busting your butt in the office each morning, only to be surrounded by employees who stroll in much, much later than you do. Plus, management teams can get very paranoid about the effect a late arriver can have on a work’s culture. It is very difficult to explain to employees why they are expected to be on time, when other employees do not obey the rule.

If you are going to be late, you should always give your manager or team a heads-up – that way, if an emergency comes up, they’ll know where to find you.

3. Don’t Be Combative

A lot of jobs will award employees a decent amount of slack when it comes to logging hours, accomplishing daily tasks, and taking on extra duties. After all, who is going to have the time to watch over you all day long? While this is definitely a good thing for your sanity, it has one serious consequence: when you are actually engaging your higher-ups, they are going to pay attention to how you act. Any attitude, excess negativity, or snarkiness will not bide well with them – or your career.

2. Be Consistent

If you’ve been hired for a job, is it likely that your personality actually does match the position you are filling quite well. Even if you have clearly observable strengths and weaknesses, make sure that your behavior is as consistent as possible. If you find yourself stretching way outside of your comfort zone on a daily basis, it’s almost guaranteed that you will not deliver the same results each day. Know your limits, and communicate them clearly.

1. Always Have a Plan

As a government employee, you may be a target for press and media, receive many phone calls per day, and be responsible to keep certain material confidential. Don’t get caught off guard – go over the status of projects you are working on, and know what to say when you are asked about them. If you have trouble giving somebody an answer, rehearse it until you know it by heart.

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