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Better Employees Avoid these Top Five Office Blunders Being a good employee can go a long way when it comes to the workplace and job advancement. When you are working in an office there are certain unspoken rules that you will want to follow. One of the biggest mistakes that one can make when they are working in an office is having romantic relationships with co-workers or their boss. This completely colors the work situation and can cause major problems in the workplace. Although office romances are common, they typically bring about some friction between the couple or the couple and others. The remedy for office romance issues is that usually one or both members of the romance leave the job. Being dishonest is an office blunder that can land you in the unemployment office. Stealing from your job, lying about reports being done and trying to cause conflict by lying to one co-worker about another are all very silly mistakes that employees make. It is not acceptable to borrow money from the float, even if you are intending to pay it back. Pretending like you have completed your work when it is only half done is not wise. Gossiping and stirring up rumors is also not a good idea. All of these things can make you the bosses’ number one most wanted to fire employee. Not following the dress code is another easy to remedy problem that many employees make. The reason why this is such a big deal is because it says that you do not care about your position enough to wear the right clothing. It also can land your boss in hot water if the director or head supervisor comes into the department. Not only will you be reprimanded for not having on proper uniform, your boss will be singled out for not making you comply with uniform standards. The too can make you very unpopular with the boss. Saying incredibly inappropriate things is also a blunder that can easily be avoided. Jokes and comments about the way that people look in their clothing can border on the line of harassment. In fact, just about anything can be proven to be harassment by a good lawyer. That is why it is best to keep jokes and opinions about others to you and you only. You could lose your job and find yourself in a lawsuit otherwise. The number one blunder than employees make on the job is having a bad attitude. People that are very negative bring down a crowd, not just themselves. That means that when the time comes to make cuts, the bad attitude person is the likely candidate. Removing a negative person from the workplace can bring up the morale of everyone else. Even very effective employees with bad attitude are often terminated simply because they bring down the mood and productivity of others. Be thankful that you have a job and keep a positive frame of mind. If you are not happy with your job, search for another one. In addition to these five blunders that better employees avoid, there are a few obvious ones. Being tardy is perhaps one of the most prevalent and easy to prevent blunders employees make. Being tardy on a regular basis is not acceptable. There is no reason to continuously be tardy for work. If you are getting stuck in traffic, leave earlier or take a different route. Being a good employee can take you a long way at work and in your personal life. It feels good to know that you are an effective person be it at work or elsewhere. Be kind to co-workers and go through your days with a positive mindset. With these tools in place you will be able to avoid blunders more effectively.

Yes, There Really is a Freebie Santa Claus If you are a cynic when it comes to offers of free stuff, you are not alone. Everyone has had notions like “there is no such thing as a free lunch” and “if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is” drilled into their heads, and for good reason – these things often hold water. On the flip side, there ARE actually lots of places you can score some decent free stuff, if you know where to look and are willing to devote some time to hunting them down. The key to getting the best free stuff with the least amount of hassle is to stick with that healthy cynicism but to also dipping your toe in the freebie pool little by little. But why would anyone give stuff away for free? It is certainly an obvious question, but if you stop to consider it for a moment, you can see that companies actually have a lot of motivation to give away free stuff. After all, if they give you something for free, you are bound to have a little soft spot for their company, and when you are ready to part with some cash, their product may near the top of your list. Also, by giving away free things, companies can convince people to try new products. You might not want to try a new kind of shampoo if you have to pay for it, but you’d certainly be willing to give a free sample a try. You may end up loving it and switching to that shampoo for good, turning you into a paying customer. Another reason a company might give you free stuff is to complete market research. This is where getting free things can get a little complicated for some people because the products may not cost you money, but the offer may cost you a little time. A company might ask you to take a survey of your buying habits before they give you a free offer, or they may ask you to provide feedback on a regular basis as you try their product for free. Some people balk at the time commitment required here, but for other people, filling out some paperwork is a small price to pay for some free stuff. Of course, to convert you into a customer or to communicate with you about market research, a company will have to contact you, which is complicated area number two for freebie lovers. You will almost always be forced to hand over your email address in order to cash in on a free offer, and that is a recipe for opening your inbox up to a barrage of spam (many companies sell your email address to offset the costs of their free promotions, which means the number of people soliciting you can go through the roof very quickly). If you want to avoid this downside of freebie hunting, set up a special email address specifically for your freebie deals. That way all of your spam goes to this one address and your regular email you use with family and friends remains free and clear. One final note of caution about free stuff online: a lot of scammers have hit on the idea of using pretend freebie offers to solicit personal information about people or to convince people to send them money. Don’t send money, even for postage, to a company you don’t know and never, ever give out personal information online. No reputable company is going to ask for your social security number or bank account details for a freebie offer, so don’t hand them out to anyone. When in doubt, skip it and move to the next freebie.

To-Do Lists an Important Part of Being a Better Employee What makes a good employee? Take a look at how the star employee in your office operates. Chances are that they don’t run around in a constant fog of stress and pressure. Good employees are usually calm and conscientious; they seem to always get the job done with a minimum of hair pulling and frantic rushing around. Is it just genes that these people have that allow them to work like this, or are some people just better at managing stress than others? The answer is probably not. If you take a closer look at the star employee in your office, you will are likely to see that they are so stress free and productive because they are good at managing their time. And chances are they manage that time with the help of a to-do list. The to-do list is an often-overlooked part of working life. While they are the kind of thing people expect housewives to carry around with them in their purse while they run errands, many people think they can do without them in the work place. This is a big mistake. Being productive at work is all about being able to carry out your tasks in a timely manner, and being productive at work is also about managing your stress. If you are too stressed out, your work will suffer for it. You will fall behind because you won’t be able to concentrate, and you will make mistakes you might not have made if you were able to take your time with your work. So, how can a to-do list help? To-do lists can do many things for you in your busy working life. For starters, to-do lists remove the problem of having that all important phone call or meetings slip your mind. When you have a to-do list, everything that needs to be accomplished is set out there for you, so there is no more explaining to your boss why you stood up your company’s most important client. With a to-do list, you can also see the bigger picture of everything that needs to be done, so you can plan your time wisely. Working on tasks one after another as they come up is not a smart way to accomplish things at the office. Some jobs are on a tight deadline, while other jobs can stand to wait a little while. When you set everything out for yourself in a to-do list, you will be able to prioritize your tasks in order of importance, so you get the crucial work out of the way first thing, and only move on to less important jobs when you have the time to devote to them. All of this organization will make your working life less stressful. Imagine a typical day without a to-do list. You come in to the office in the morning, you work through all of the email sitting in your inbox, you make a few phone calls, chat with some co-workers in the break room, answer a few more emails, and then bam! All of the sudden, you remember that the presentation your boss needs for the big meeting is due at 2 p.m., and you haven’t even started it. Now you resort to hair pulling and frantic working. Then, you give your boss the presentation over an hour late, and it is filled with mistakes and sloppy work. Now imagine the same day with a to-do list. You get the presentation out of the way first thing, and you have time to check it. Then you can move on to less important tasks without the dark cloud of stress hanging over you. To-do list writing is time well spent if you want to succeed at work.