TODAY   |  February 26, 2014

Biggest mistakes to avoid at work

Personal finance experts Farnoosh Torabi and Mark Jeffries join TODAY to chat about some of the big boo-boos employees make at work, like asking for a raise at the wrong time or failing to maximize your 401(k). They offer tips on how to manage these situations.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> want to hear this. you could be making big mistakes at your job that could cost you in the long run.

>> here with smart advice, creator of elearning course, art of business influence. good morning to you both.

>> good morning.

>> we know it's not a mistake to ask for a raise. that's a good idea.

>> absolutely.

>> but when you ask for the raise can be the problem.

>> it is all about timing. think of the week. no one wants to be asked to hand over more money on a monday or tuesday and a depressing day. there's a lot of work to be done, aim for thursday or friday. but better than that, time it so you've had a big win, won a new client, come up with a cool idea. that's when you ask.

>> and if you get rejected, don't walk away a loser, negotiate before you leave. especially important for women, we don't negotiate. ask for a week of vacation. ask for, you know, some flex leave so you can at least, you know, get something out of the meeting.

>> no doesn't always have to mean no. next, you say failing to maximize your 401(k) is a big, big mistake .

>> huge.

>> what are you leaving on the table?

>> tax savings, potential match from your employer, which is essentially free money .

>> max it out as much as you can.

>> how about this one, mark? spreading negativity. what's a good example of what that can do.

>> the sort of person comes into the office going, oh, this winter, the trains are late, the traffic was bad. that kind of negativity brands you as a negative person. and in the end, everyone around you just wants to kill themselves. you've got to try and avoid that level. don't brand yourself negative, be more positive or keep it to yourself .

>> that is bad for the office.

>> gossiping, although we all engage in it, it does brand you as someone that cannot be trusted.

>> okay. good to know. next, mark you say, and i love this, leaving the meeting is a big mistake . and we're not talking about physically getting up and walking out. it's about what you put out there when you're in a meeting.

>> exactly. this is about how you sit in a meeting. there is a notional imaginary curtain between the edge of the table and the ceiling. you should be through that. this means i'm in the meeting. i look interested. the mean you lean back, you've left the meeting and not only that, watch people around you. if they start looking at their phones or leaning back, you've lost them.

>> all right. lean in.

>> lean in. okay. that's good advice. let's talk about getting too comfortable in your job. this happens to a lot of people, who say i'll be here forever.

>> you should be always updating linkedin. the best advice i ever got from my first manager was even when you first started a job, doesn't mean game over . the best time to get a job is when you have one, you want to be proactive, not reactive.

>> and just because you've got the job doesn't mean you're going to stay there. every day is like a job interview . never give up.

>> and everybody is replaceable, right? all right. great advice, thank you, both.