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NGPT tells you how to escape your boss' good graces!

5 Ways to Tick Off Your Boss

As a new grad, you will naturally wish to make a good impression on your new boss and coworkers. While there are plenty of ways to shine in the workplace, there are also surefire ways to annoy your boss. The last thing you want to do is undermine your career advancement by making these common new grad mistakes.

Demand rewards for poor reasons

If you do a phenomenal job at work, and your patients get great results, you are justified in asking for a raise. Buying a house, having a child or living in an expensive city are not reasons you deserve a raise. You can expect rewards and raises for doing an excellent job at work, not for making basic life choices.

A common rookie mistake amongst new PTs is asking for a raise during the annual review, but providing no solid reasoning for deserving the pay bump. Inflation and cost of living increases are reasons for a basic 1-2% raise each year, but if you’re shooting for 4+% raises, you need to back your request with solid examples of exemplary performance. Want more info? Look for an upcoming NGPT article about negotiating a raise!

Roll your eyes

Rolling your eyes at your boss is the ultimate sign of disrespect. It’s just enough of a wuss move to indicate that you aren’t willing to actually argue a point (thereby conveying that you don’t have the ability to argue your stance), but it’s just assertive enough to betray your lack of respect for what your boss is saying.

If you disagree with what your boss is saying or asking of you, set up a meeting where the two of you can talk privately. Discuss your concerns and, preferably, present a set of options to correct the issues that you see.
Before you have your conversation, put yourself in your boss’ shoes. Chances are, he/she is stressed out and has his/her own life issues going on. Your boss is not a mind reader, and surely cannot know what you’re thinking without you being open.

When you act haughty and roll your eyes at your boss, you truly come across as an angst-ridden teenager dealing with an overbearing parent. Just…don’t.

Habitually arrive late

In any workplace, arriving late is highly unprofessional behavior. While traffic jams and car breakdowns happen to the best of us, they should be isolated events, rather than the norm. If you’re habitually arriving 5-10 minutes late because of traffic every day, it’s time to make a point to leave home 15-20 minutes earlier. Your patients and your co-workers rely on your timeliness, and arriving late puts everyone else in the uncomfortable spot of either doing your work or defending your integrity while the patients grumble.

Complain incessantly

Negativity is contagious, and your coworkers are highly susceptible to a negative outlook. Imagine arriving to work every day for a week, and finding a coworker in a grumpy mood, pointing out every way that the job is awful. It won’t be long until you feel the same way. A person is the average of their five closest friends and associates, and negative coworkers most certainly fall into that category.

As a new grad, you have the chance to be a breath of fresh air in your workplace. Try to focus on the ways that you can create a positive change in your professional environment.
Some things about a job can be changed, but others can’t. If you don’t like the patient population, there is little you can do in the short term to change things. Complaining about an unmotivated caseload won’t do you any good. If you really hate your job that much, do everyone a favor and start looking for a new one! If you’ve been the company buzzkill, chances are that your coworkers will be happy to see you go.

Don’t use time productively

Everyone needs some downtime, and reasonable bosses understand that. There is a reason that breaks are required by law. At the same time, if you frequently spend hours on end sitting around and chatting, then grumble about not having time to document, you will most indubitably irritate your boss.

Ever done something you KNOW irritated your boss? Tell us about it! Share your stories in the comments section below, or in our forums!

About Meredith Victor Castin

Meredith is the co-founder of NewGradPhysicalTherapy.com. She is originally from Tyler, TX and attended UPenn for undergrad, before graduating with her DPT from USA (San Diego) in 2010. She has worked in outpatient ortho, inpatient rehab, acute care and home health physical therapy, and currently works as a rehab intake liaison.

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