9 Things That Can Harm Your Career ...

There are a lot of things you can do these days that can get you in trouble at work. You can get written up, suspended, even fired – or you might have to change your career path altogether. Some of them are surprising, some of them are a sign of the times, and some of them … well, if you do them, you probably deserve to get in trouble. Do any of these 9 things that can harm your career seem familiar?

1. Getting Arrested

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Sometimes your personal life doesn't interfere with your professional life … and sometimes it does. If you happen to get arrested, and if there is a fair amount of coverage in the local news or press, you're definitely going to have to answer for your actions. It won't necessarily lead to you getting fired, but your boss might be wary about giving you any good assignments or big responsibilities.

2. Social Networking

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Do you know how many people are getting fired because of things like Facebook and Twitter? Not only should you refrain from using them at work, but you shouldn't write anything about work either, unless you know for certain that no one you work with can read it. I mean, even colleagues who are friends, because you never know when things might go awry. You should also avoid keeping any … special pictures open to everyone. Your boss probably doesn't need to see photos of you drunk and flashing at Cabo or something.

3. Get Caught Playing Sick

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This is awful. You call in sick because you need a day, and you head on out to wherever, only to run into a colleague – or, worse, your boss. Now, I am in now way going to sit here and tell you to never call in sick unless you're ill, but maybe you ought to stay in the house. Or else only go really far away, where you know none of your colleagues are likely to show up out of nowhere.

4. Reveal Company Secrets

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This one is bad, and is most likely to get you fired no matter where you work. You could get in even worse trouble if you had to sign a contract at any point. It's probably tempting, if you work for Coke or KFC or something, to finally disclose those delicious secret recipes, but it's totally verboten in the corporate world. However, if anyone feels like doing this, ever, I really would like to know Applebee's recipe for spinach artichoke dip, please!

5. Talk Smack about Colleagues

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It is very, very bad to talk smack about the people you work with, especially your boss. Like, it's really bad. They will find out, somehow. Especially your boss. This includes not badmouthing in a blog or online journal, unless it is so completely locked down that no one can ever read it. This all applies unless, of course, you work for yourself. Then you can talk all the smack you want.

6. Work for the Competition

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Moonlighting happens. Sometimes you take a second job after your primary one because you need money. You should not ever moonlight for your company's competitor, however. Not only is it bad form, but it can get you in a lot of trouble – again, especially if you signed a contract when you started. At the very least, you need to discuss things with your boss before you even think about doing this.

7. Get Drunk at Work Functions

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At the annual holiday party or at an after work dinner meeting, it's completely okay to have a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail. If you're close with your colleagues and you guys go out all the time, that is also cool. But never, ever drink to the point of getting drunk while you're around the people you work with. Who knows what will happen to your inhibitions or filters? You might do or say something that wrecks your entire career.

8. Inappropriate Comments

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You always have to be careful of what you say. Freedom of speech is one thing; tact and common sense are two other things entirely. Do not make racist or sexist comments, ever. Dirty or inappropriate jokes are also a bad idea. It isn't funny and it's completely disrespectful.

9. Stalking

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Harassing or stalking a coworker is just a bad idea all around. In the first place, they are both sort of illegal, and in the second place, your boss probably doesn't want a stalker on his or her team. Besides, you might seriously end up getting arrested.

It's amazing how many things your boss can potentially find out over the internet. If you take the right precautions, though, you can keep your work life separate, even on social networking sites. What's the most embarrassing or inappropriate thing you ever did on the job?

Top Photo Credit: lindsatomica

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