Once you have started working, it is important to understand basic business etiquette. Companies vary in their ‘unwritten rules,’ but these suggestions are generally appropriate for most organizations:
|Treat your superior with respect, but do not act submissive or afraid. Treat all people with respect, regardless of status, race, gender, ability, background, etc.|
|Show a positive attitude. Avoid complaining and gossiping, and be cheerful and constructive in your dealings with others.|
|Listen: When you are talking to people, look directly into their eyes from time to time. Show interest in the other person by using open-ended questions and acknowledging what you are hearing.|
|Be friendly and cooperative.|
|Dress for success – Dress neatly and appropriately for the job. Observe how other staff members dress and follow suit.|
|Watch your language – Learn the office jargon. Refrain from using profanity and slang. Concentrate on expressing yourself clearly in both verbal and written communications.|
|Be willing to learn new skills.|
|Whenever you are without an immediate assigned task, offer to assist others where needed. Personal business should be conducted on your own time, not company time.|
|Keep your supervisor informed of the status and completion of your work. Periodically ask your supervisor, ‘How can I improve?’ Make sure others become aware of your accomplishments, but don’t boast|
|Follow organization rules – learn, follow and respect all organization rules, especially those dealing with ethics and confidentiality.|
|If you don’t know, ask! However, respect the time and commitments of others and wait for an appropriate time to ask for assistance.|
|Network,- get to know the people you are working with|
|Don’t bring up controversial topics (religion, politics)|
|Don’t complain or be negative|
|Don’t use crude language or slang|
|Don’t interrupt people while they are speaking|
|Don’t invade others’ personal space; maintain a physical distance of 2-3 feet, coming too close to another person may be considered aggressive or rude. Standing too far away may be considered aloof.|
|Don’t be late for work. Call if you must be late. Consistent lateness and even rescheduling of your work hours can be grounds for dismissal.|
|Don’t talk about personal issues (boyfriend/girlfriend, parties, etc.) in the workplace.|
|Don’t engage in excessive socializing, which would limit your productivity and that of your co-workers.|
|Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Realize that if you are new to a job, you may need to be patient and prove yourself before you get higher responsibilities.|
|Avoid using your cell phone while at work!|
You can consider yourself adequately prepared for a successful job search when you are ready to say the following with confidence:
- I have prepared an effective resume and cover letter.
- I have practiced and developed effective interviewing skills.
- I have explored different job search strategies.
- I have identified different industries and organizations that are good potential employers.