1. Talking about your personal life.
This is never a good idea. Even if other employees talk openly about their lives, unless you are asked a question, keep it to yourself. I know a woman who was honest to a fault. She was young and very social and would openly talk about her children, lack of income, car trouble etc… She was unfairly labelled a poor worker who had to many personal issues to be dedicated to her job. Although she worked hard and got along with everyone, she ended up being bullied by her manager and left the company feeling miserable.
2. Looking unorganized.
You know that employee who has a completely messy desk? They might be getting their job done, but the impression left is that they are not efficient and lack the ability to do assignments well.
A new employee might feel good when other workers invite the new employee into their group. Even if this group openly gossips and you just throw out a mildly negative thought about the company or another employee, you will look like you are starting drama. Plus you don't want to be linked to the group that gossips anyway.
4. Not staying for a full shift.
Life can get in the way of staying for a full shift. You are ill, a child has an appointment or you have finished your work for the day might all be valid excuses. The problem is that you look like a slacker when you miss time at work. Do your best to work around issues that may come up. Find some back-up support and a plan in case something unexpected were to arise.
5. Not participating in company activities.
I am not a fan of using up my free time by going to company events. The company picnic, Christmas party or charity bowl-a-thon might not seem like a big deal to miss, but it is. Management likes to see their employees taking not only their job, but the company seriously. Plus, you get an opportunity to connect with employees that you might not get a chance to speak with on a regular day-to-day basis. Who knows how valuable that might be when you are looking to move into another position.
6. Avoid personal time while you're working.
Personal phone calls, friends or family stopping by or balancing the checkbook are not looked upon favorably by management or other employees. Save personal activities for lunch break or better yet, at home.
7. Decorating your desk.
It's one thing to put up a family picture or have a favorite motto at your desk. It's another thing completely to decorate your desk with funny little toys, a candy jar and several pictures. Look it's understandable that you want to feel some comfort at your desk. You spend so many hours at work that it might give you a bit of relief. When you don't have space to do your work because your desk has to many knick-knacks, it's a problem. Toys in general don't give off a good impression to management. It looks like you are more likely to goof off instead of getting your work done.
When you are beginning a new job, be extra respectful of your environment. Be that hard worker who doesn't spend company time gossiping, playing with toys or attending to personal matters. Be a team player even after work hours. These days jobs are harder to come by. Having an attitude that is professional is a sure way to make your new job a lasting job.