21 Signs You Are an Unmotivated (and Somewhat Unethical) Employee

Today, with the crappy economy and tough job market many employees are stuck in a job that they detest but need to keep to pay their bills. This makes them unmotivated to do more than the bare minimum and sometimes even display unethical behaviors. Here are 21 signs, in no particular order, that you are this type of employee.

1. You feel you are way underpaid, and as a result you become a more resentful and unproductive employee

2. You know deep-down you are being lazy and should be able to do more

3. You cannot focus for more than 5 to 10 minutes on work related items and keep surfing the Internet and/or your smart phone; or look for similarly disgruntled employees to chat with

4. When you roll into the office, it takes you over an hour to actually get to any real work. Before that coffee, chatting and snacking are a priority

5. Most days, you leave work in the middle of the day for at least an hour. This could be a trip to the gym for a spin class to just to wander nearby malls

6. You regularly schedule personal errands during the workday so as to reduce the impact on your personal time. For example getting a haircut in the middle of a weekday or dropping off the dry cleaning at 11 am

7. You (sometimes) try and make up the lost work time to address your guilty conscience by staying on late. But you generally only stay back at work for a few minutes after 5pm

8. You regularly spend work hours applying for jobs or cruising LinkedIn to see what others are doing

9. On a frequent basis you leave work early, without bothering to tell anyone or leaving an away from office message

10. When you are working from home, you don’t really work. It’s just a bonus day off for you

11. You have seen more than 3 movies in the last six months during the weekday morning matinee sessions

12. You feel that overtime is a personal affront to your time. Yet cannot remember the last time you stayed back late for a critical work deadline

13. You confuse work ethic with a sense of entitlement, which is completely different

14 You believe that it is the job/company and not you that is the cause of your sub-par performance. And that because of your (perceived) ill treatment, you feel you don’t need to perform above the lowest acceptable threshold

15. You are looking forward to the day they let you go with a severance package or constantly dream about the day you can tell your employer to “take this job and shove it!”

16. You think your boss is an incompetent fool, with you paying for their lack of time management and managerial skills

17. You think that they pay your co-workers way more than they deserve. So why should you make the extra or above-par effort?

18. You are continually frustrated at “dumb” coworkers and management, and in some cases yourself for becoming so lost in your career.

19. Your actual hourly worked rate (Salary/Actual hours worked) is over $500. For example, you make $1000 a week but only work on “real” work for 10 hrs a week.

20. Your on line bookmarks are 80%+ non-work related

21. You read through this whole list, and could personally relate to more than 75% of the items.

I am not going to pass judgement on people who can relate to the above. I know I have been in jobs and companies that made me feel this way. But be wary that exhibiting such behaviors for a long period of time will likely stick through-future jobs and taking pro-active career action sooner rather than later is a much better course of action. Hoping that things will get better on their own is unlikely to yield the desired results.

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4 thoughts on “21 Signs You Are an Unmotivated (and Somewhat Unethical) Employee”

  1. There’s a sense of entitlement from the writer of this article on how the relationship should operate between worker and capital.
    It’s as if he expects the worker to make all the sacrifices for the business and the business to make none.

  2. “Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late and I use the side door. After that I just sorta space out for about an hour. I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.”

    Peter Gibbons – Office Space

  3. Item # 8 and FACEBOOK entries showing date/time is a visible give-away when on the job!

    Item # 8: You regularly spend work hours applying for jobs or cruising LinkedIn to see what others are doing


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