5 People to Avoid If You Want to Succeed at Work

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Success at work is extremely important to most people. However, success is defined differently depending on who you ask. A 2015 global career survey released by Right Management found that only 10% of employees felt that productivity and high performance defined career success, and only 3% of employees globally wanted to earn a prominent position. About 26% of employees listed enjoyment/happiness as success; 19% listed salary; 18% said doing the best work; and 15% said respect and recognition.
While doing well and having a long career is important, it seems that across the globe being happy and enjoying work is the greatest mark of success. So how can you achieve these different factors of success? Success will depend on how you define the term, but you will need to work hard, impress your boss, and avoid people who will distract you or stop you from achieving your goals.

1. The negative co-worker

If you have a co-worker who is constantly complaining about anything and everything, there’s a good chance you are fed up. Negative co-workers have the power to bring you down, and this can affect your ability to succeed at your assignments. It can also make you depressed or frustrated, and if your goal for succeeding at work is to enjoy your role or be happy, a co-worker who constantly complains is going to make that goal difficult to attain. Keep your distance, set boundaries, and spend time with positive people instead. You will probably have to interact with negative co-workers sometimes, but you can try to do so as little as possible.

2. The disrespectful co-worker

stressed out people
Stressed business people at work | Photo by Liaison

If someone is blatantly rude to you, gossips about you, or says disrespectful things to your face, you may need to avoid them or speak up for yourself (or talk to your boss or human resources). Spending time with someone who doesn’t respect you will certainly affect your ability to be happy and enjoy work. According to the Right Management survey, 59% of employees want mutual trust from their colleagues, 48% want respect for their knowledge (54% in America), 46% want a relationship of equals, and 41% want transparency. If your co-worker demeans you, doesn’t respect your knowledge or your contributions, or disrespects you in other ways, you will have a hard time succeeding the way you want to at work.

3. The thief

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What’s worse than the person who disrespects you to your face? If you define work success as getting the salary you want, getting recognition, or doing your best work, then the person who takes away from your ability to show your best work is the biggest issue. If you have a co-worker who regularly takes credit for the work you do, this can make you look incompetent or lazy. If you crave recognition, this person may cause you to miss out. They can also affect your ability to earn the salary you want if they are making you look like you work less hard than you actually do. They also take away from the respect for knowledge that so many Americans want from their colleagues.

4. The person who always wants something

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If your colleague constantly asks you to help with extra projects, and you need to work late or on the weekends as a result, it might be time to start avoiding this person as much as possible. While you do want to help your co-workers and have a mutually supportive relationship, your best bet is to try to avoid the person if they are taking advantage of you. Even someone who has the best intentions might be asking too much (for example, the co-worker who wants you to join every work sports league available).
If it’s your boss that’s the problem, you may not be able to avoid them. However, since 35% of employees listed the desire for a higher salary or a better work/life balance, you may still end up looking for something better since it’s hard to enjoy life if you constantly work.

5. The distracting co-worker

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You know that obnoxious co-worker who is always on the phone? Whether it’s his job or just his personality, constantly being distracted by someone on their phone can be detrimental to your ability to properly do your job. The chatty co-worker who seems to come up with endless reasons to talk to you about things that don’t matter is also a big distraction, and so is the office gossip; or, perhaps the real problem is your co-worker who sends way too many e-mails and unnecessarily fills your message box.
The person who calls way too many meetings can also be a huge distraction. Whoever is causing a distraction for you, you need to find a way to ignore them or talk to them about it. If you get too distracted, you risk negatively affecting your productivity or quality of work, and therefore harming your chance of work success.