6 Things They Say Hurt Careers (That Statistics Say Help)

With economic recovery moving slower than a stoned snail and companies receiving 10,000 applications for 90 positions, everyone's concerned with job security. But have no fear, we at Cracked are here to help.

It turns out that many of the ways we intuitively believe we're improving our success in the workforce are totally wrong. If you want to get ahead, you'd be better advised to ...

#6. Start Drinking at Bars

Whatever positive thing you can say about alcohol (like, say, you have it to thank for the loss of your virginity), it sure as hell isn't going to help your career. Climbing the corporate ladder takes a lot of hard work, while spending nights out drinking means you're always calling in sick or spending half the shift hung over. So workers who frequently visit bars to drink away their problems must be making less than their hardworking coworkers who stay late at the office, right?

Not so, says the Journal of Labor Research. Their studies found that social drinkers earned 7 percent more, and people who frequented bars on a regular basis earned a whopping 10 to 14 percent more, than non-drinkers.

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"Hey, my stocks are up. I think I'll burn a $100 bill in front of a homeless guy in celebration."

Why? Well as any fraternity brother trying to justify his 1.5 GPA will tell you, it's not about what you know, it's about who you know. It's all about networking. Workers who regularly visit bars are able to build better relationships with coworkers and make all sorts of contacts outside their company. The guy you're singing karaoke with tonight is the same supervisor who might be giving out promotions six months from now, or the client you'll be trying to sell to next week.

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"You're a terrible doctor, Steve, but you're a hell of a good time. How's head of surgery sound?"

On the other hand, sober working drones may be seen as good workers, but are less likely to make these close personal relationships. And with as many as four out of five promotions being based on those kind of relationships, building that camaraderie with coworkers is more likely to get you that promotion than, say, constantly working. And nothing builds closer relationships like being a wing man for the boss at a bar.

And yes, we're referring to our hypothetical drinker as a male for a reason -- the data shows this trend is only applicable to men, as no correlation between bar visits and paycheck size was found for women.

And just in case you thought that the rule is as simple as "Be a nice guy and you'll be rewarded," it actually turns out that it's more helpful to ...

#5. Be a Jerk

You'd think that just straight being an asshole would be the quickest and easiest way to fail a job interview, or at least alienate your coworkers and make the daily grind much grindier for everybody. But there is an upside to being the biggest dick in your office -- an upside to the tune of $9,772 annually, or more than enough to cover a year's worth of anger management lessons.

That's how much more men who are rated "more disagreeable" than their nicer counterparts make on average, according to a survey by researchers at Notre Dame and University of Western Ontario. The kicker is that this was a self-survey -- the participants aren't people who don't realize they're coming off like dicks, but people who proudly announce it.

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"I will work-fuck you until your soul evaporates!"

Now, you might be thinking that the connection between success and dickishness goes the other way -- that these are people like Dr. House, who know they're great at their jobs, and thus know they can afford to act like cockholes. But the same researchers approached it from the other direction and found that being a jerk also makes you more likely to get hired in the first place, even if the nicer people are equally qualified.

Their study presented 460 students with a list of candidates for a fictitious consulting position and asked them to hire someone. All other things being equal, candidates who were flat-out described as "more agreeable" were less likely to get the job, while more obnoxious candidates were more successful.

Photos.com Hired!

Some of you have already guessed why. The effect was more pronounced in men, leading researchers to speculate that managers and interviewers are subconsciously looking for traditional masculine alpha-male characteristics, which, right or wrong, we associate with being kind of a douchebag. So it's kind of a circular argument that goes on in the minds of the people doing the hiring: Dr. House types can be jerks because they're geniuses and thus confident, therefore when we see a guy acting like a jerk, we figure he must be a genius like Dr. House.

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"No, you can't have the promotion, but you can have two for flinching."

You don't have to agree with it to acknowledge that it goes on. So if you want to impress your boss, just put bees in your coworker's lunchbox. And while you're at it ...

#4. Become Sexist

Yes, it turns out it's not just being a general dick that earns you a fat bonus on your paycheck. Specifically, having watched too many episodes of Mad Men can grant you an advantage in the workplace. It turns out that being a chauvinist pig boosts your earning potential by $11,930 annually.

But why are sexist men rewarded for exhibiting culturally unacceptable behavior, especially when sexism lawsuits against corporations are up by more than 25 percent over the last five years? Don't blame the system; a sexist douche (we'll call him "Chad") actually has a competitive advantage when negotiating a salary.

It starts with the fact that one consistently successful way to get more money from your job is to ask for it. This is one of those times when a sense of entitlement helps you -- march into the boss's office and insist that you're owed more money, and he'll eventually give in. Aggressive negotiators end up earning more than $600,000 over the course of their careers than their coworkers who learned manners.

Which brings us back to Chad. You see, Chad not only thinks Pam likes getting her ass smacked because look at what she's wearing. In his small mind rests another idea: That men should earn more money than women, because men have families to support. That's going to motivate him to storm into the manager's office more often than his more enlightened coworkers. Thanks to his "My dick deserves more cash" philosophy, Chad will soon be rolling in the dough. Though he'll request that his female coworkers knead it first.

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"Going ... down?"

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