6 Ways to Succeed at Your Damn Job

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Want a raise or promotion? Stand out for all the right reasons, and not the wrong ones – like having a potty mouth.

If you want a better job, watch your #@$% language.

A new CareerBuilder survey of almost 2,300 hiring managers and nearly 3,900 full-time workers found that not only do employees swear a lot, it may affect their chances of moving up.

Half of surveyed workers reported cursing in the office, with 95 percent of those doing it in front of co-workers, 51 percent in front of their boss, and – surprise – just 13 percent doing so in front of senior leaders and 7 percent in front of clients.

Men are only slightly more likely than women to swear: 54 percent versus 47 percent. And while two-thirds of employers consider swearing immature, it’s middle-aged employees who have the most foul mouths. Less than half of those under 25 or over 55 say they swear at work.

Nearly two-thirds of employers said they would “think less of” employees who swear frequently, and a majority (57 percent) said they would be less likely to promote them because of it.

A majority also said “swearing at work makes an employee appear less intelligent.” The funny thing is, employers admit swearing too. One in four swears at his employees and co-workers. Not discussed in the survey: favorite curses.

Besides biting your tongue, here are some tips to improve your odds of a raise or promotion…

1. Dress appropriately

Piercings, visible tattoos, wrinkled clothes, messy hair, casual clothes, chewed fingernails, and too much makeup can all hurt your chances, according to hiring managers. So can too much perfume/cologne or bad breath.

2. Don’t abuse technology 

Used properly, tech can save you time at work. But sending email to the wrong recipients, texting during business meetings, griping about the boss on Facebook, and other online blunders can hurt your career. Pocket the phone.

3. Leap at educational opportunities

Earning a new position may mean learning new things. Volunteer for any training opportunities the company offers, or any projects that might offer you new skills and experience. Taking up work nobody else wants can also make you stand out.

4. Stay connected

Take advantage of networking opportunities and events – others in the company might know of openings you haven’t heard about. Maintaining visibility also means managers will be more likely to think of you when new positions open up.

5. Ask questions

Any time there’s an opportunity for performance assessment, ask your boss what you could be doing better and what could take you to the next level. Pay attention to any criticism and make it as obvious as possible you’re working on improving.

6. Show results

Keep track of your success. Make notes of any quantifiable improvement you make to the company’s bottom line and any new ideas you’ve introduced. There’s no need to brag, but take credit where it’s due. And even if your contributions aren’t being recognized or rewarded, they still might be bullet points on your resume for the next job.

Stacy Johnson

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