6 Types of People You’ll Always Encounter in Your Work Life

Full credit to universities around the world who jam textbook knowledge down our throats until we’re left gasping for air. Some students are even lucky enough to get hands-on training during their tertiary education to prepare us for 30 odd years of work.

What no one seems to prepare us for, though, is workplace culture. Our coworkers make up a huge part of our jobs, whether directly involved in our work or not. But for some reason, no one really prepares us for dealing with the crazy people various personalities we end up working alongside.

Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered. Check out the six people you’re bound to run into at your workplace (and what to do when you do).

The know it all

Whether it’s in a school or a corporate office, you’re bound to have at least one individual who thinks knowledge exudes from their glorious brain and their brain only. Whatever you say, prepare for it to be upped, rebutted or even taken and unnecessarily regurgitated in an “I’m smarter than you” tone.

If/when you run into this individual, smile and keep the chatter to a minimum. Very rarely will a ‘know it all’ actually know it all, so they likely won’t be of any help to you.


Unlike the know it all, these people will spend much less time telling you how great they are and a lot more time trying to prove it by going above and beyond.

They do things they’re not asked to do and always speak up when the boss needs “ideas.”

They’re not really any harm to you, unless they’re overshadowing your good deeds. Avoid partnering with them so the boss doesn’t view you as “second best” all the time.

The “funny” guy/attention seeker

There are two types of “funny” guys: the one who’s actually kind of funny, and the one who thinks he is funny, but is not. Regardless, your coworkers will likely give them the laughs they’re seeking, so you’ll probably have a chuckle, too.

But if it’s common knowledge that this dude is a jokester, then it’s best to keep your distance. Don’t follow in his footsteps because your boss probably won’t tolerate two of you.

The slacker

First name: Employed. Middle name: Lazy. Last name: Still Employed. Somehow, there’s always someone who can do the bare minimum and totally get away with it. Their incomplete work may even become your responsibility.

Nothing you say about their habits will change their way of being, so it’s best to keep communication professional and avoid getting roped into partnered tasks.

The gossiper

Nothing good comes from being the gossiper, or being friends with them. We all LOVE to know all the goss, but be very careful. The last thing you want is to be caught up in it yourself.

When this little talker gets near, keep an ear open but your head down. After all, can you really trust someone who is known for talking about others?

Mean boss

They exist, and they expect you to take every comment they dish out, extreme or not. Take this from someone who’s been there, it’s not fun receiving company-wide emails from your boss that chastise your department, threatening to strip you of your jobs when really, you all work your butts off. Chances are this boss doesn’t even understand your work.

Unlike the other types of people you encounter, you don’t want to mess around with this one. Avoid being a pushover or always playing the victim. Attempt constructive communication by mentioning you understand they’re feeling a certain way, and ask to discuss the direction they would like to take from there.