8 Ways to Make Yourself Unpopular at Work

In order to advance your career, start by gaining the respect and approval of your peers. Or, at the very least, avoid becoming the most unpopular person in the office. We all know a few of these clueless wonders—the coworkers and officemates who seem unaware that basic manners can have a powerful impact on professional success. On the other hand, if you’d like to become one of them, follow the guidelines below.

1. Don’t bother learning anyone’s name.

You don’t really care about this job, and you don’t plan to be here for very long. You’re going to leave as soon as you’re promoted or you find something better. And besides, these people aren’t your friends. You just work with them. Don’t waste valuable head-space memorizing people’s names, or using those names when you greet them in the morning or pass them in the halls.

2. Don’t worry about keeping secrets or showing discretion.

Yes, Steve confided in you a few hours ago. And yes, you’re now repeating his words to someone else in the privacy of the break room. But who cares? Steve isn’t here. He’ll never know.

3. Ask rude questions (for bonus points: don’t listen to the answers).

You coworker is getting married. As you congratulate her, ask if she plans to take her husband’s name. Then ask if she plans to have children. While you’re at it, go ahead and ask if she’s pregnant right now… You’ve noticed a little belly bump. Go ahead and get to the heart of the matter. You don’t mean any harm, and inquiring minds want to know.

4. Make sure everyone knows that you’re the expert…on every topic.

Yes, your coworkers have opinions about things. They have opinions about politics, current events, science, philosophy, fashion, and business. But they only have opinions. You, on the other hand, have facts. You know more than they do, you’ve read more internet articles than they have, and you’ve examined every issue from more sides than they ever will. Put simply, you’re smarter and more logical then they are. So let your light shine. Tell them how the world actually works, and of course, correct them when they’re wrong.

5. Groom yourself at your desk.

Go ahead and clip those nails. Nobody can see you behind the cubicle walls. Probably.

6. Dress better than everyone else.

You’ve heard the old adage: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Go ahead and take that advice to heart, and wear an expensive suit to work every day even though your coworkers wear slacks and buttoned shirts. Overdress and you’ll definitely impress…Don’t worry about fitting in or showing respect for your peers and the culture of this workplace.

7. Don’t pay attention to your clothes at all.

If the tip above doesn’t work for you, go the other way. Wear your dirty sneakers and your sweats to the office. Don’t worry about the mustard stain on the front. Probably nobody will even notice.

8. Look out for yourself… and only yourself.

Nobody ever reaches the highest levels of success by caring about others. Focus on your own career. Take credit for every team success (even if you had nothing to do with the project). Never apologize or accept criticism. And never, ever back down from a conflict even when you secretly know that you’re wrong.

Actually…Don’t Do Any of These Things.

If you want to alienate others and hold back your own career, just be a jerk. It’s easy! But if you’d rather build credibility and earn the respect of those around you, you’ll need to put a little more effort into the task. Your efforts will pay off when you visit MyPerfectResume and start thinking about your next move.