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Born to Be Wildly Unprofessional

Bob Goldman on

Really, you ought to be proud

After years of unstinting effort, you have developed a reputation as someone who is unprofessional. You're unprofessional in the way you work. You don't really do any work. You're unprofessional in the way you think. You do really do any thinking, either.

Certainly, company management expected a modicum of professionalism when you were hired. Tough nuggies. After working with you and talking to you, they must realize by now that a professional attitude is not something you offer. Excuses, grumbling, finger-pointing, contrariness -- that they can get. But a professional approach to their problems and their projects? Sorry, that's just not on the menu.

Being so unprofessional so early in your career is a real accomplishment, and I congratulations on this achievement. The question is -- could you do more? Could you go further?

Yes, you're unprofessional, but are you "wildly unprofessional?"

This is exactly the question that Bill Murphy of Inc. asks in a recent posting on The Muse website,"10 Everyday Habits That Make You Look Wildly Unprofessional at Work."

I imagine most people will read the Murphy piece for a list of habits to avoid. For you, the post provides a list of habits to adopt if you want to up your game and go from garden-variety unprofessional to wildly unprofessional.

Like adding "Lazy Profanity" to your vocabulary, Murphy's Habit No. 1. "If someone uses the F-word as an all-purpose adjective," he writes, "it makes you wonder whether they're equally uncreative and slothful in everything they do."

Totally agree. If you want to be wildly unprofessional, break out the W-word, and the T-word, and, though I hate to suggest this in a family publication, the Q-word, too. When you start spewing profanity, use all the creativity that management expected to find when they hired you. It could them lead them to hope that someday it will appear in your work.

"Lateness" is habit No. 2. "Being on time is a matter of respect," Murphy writes. True that. It's unprofessional to make people wait for you when you arrive late to a meeting. It's wildly unprofessional if you don't show up at all.

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