You’ve written your “interview winning CV”, you’ve prepared for and “nailed” that all important offer, you’ve worked so hard to get this dream job – so it is important you don’t blow it on the first day.
The workplace can be a minefield, being mindful of business etiquette is paramount; whether you are just starting out on your career journey or you are thinking of moving on to pastures new, it is important that you cultivate, and maintain, good work “habits”. Here are our top workplace do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of to keep on top of business etiquette.
Remain positive: It’s surprising how much of an effect having a positive outlook at work can have – both for your own personal wellbeing and those of your coworkers. Building a positive rapport with your coworkers by adopting a habit of congratulating and encouraging those around you on their actions can improve the productivity of a workforce. By emphasising the benefits of the hard work you have all put in and focusing less on the negatives, you will find it easier to keep employees, including yourself, motivated and on track to succeed.
Listen and, more importantly, learn: Everyone wants to make a great first impression on their first day, be respected by their peers from the “get-go”, and prove that they hired the right person to do the job. Take heed however, you may have joined the organisation because of your expertise, but more often than not, this will be a new company with a new team. Keep an open mind to new ways of working, policies and practices – it’s important to give others a chance to speak and most importantly listen to what is being said – treat others how you would like to be treated and you will be surprised at how quickly you become a respected, integral part of the organisation.
Keep sight of your career goals: In a new job with a different company; so much can happen in a very short period of time; but it is important that you keep an eye on your goals and what you want to achieve professionally in the environment that you are in. It is worth taking stock of your career path every few months by asking yourself whether you are still on track to reach your ultimate career goal. If not, it may be time to seek advice from your coworkers or line manager to get things moving in the right direction once again. Be focused and committed and the “sky’s the limit”.
Mistake “gossip” for chat: A catch-up over a cup of tea is more than acceptable, actually it is great for an employee’s well-being – but it is extremely important to know where you draw the line. Take the “less I know, the better off I am” approach when it comes to gossiping about your colleagues, and line managers – it’s unproductive, disruptive and should be avoided at all costs.
Discuss the package: This is a big “no-no” for many firms, your salary and package is your business, no one else’s, and discussing the salaries of other employees is equally frowned upon. Some organisations may publicise salary levels that are specifically based on the responsibilities of a role, but other than this discussions of this nature should be avoided at all costs.
Let technology lead you: Turn that phone off in meetings, have it on silent for the rest of the day and don’t take non-urgent phone calls when you are meant to be working. If you need to take that call, be mindful that sound carries so take it outside of the office. The same goes for texting, updating those Facebook messages or Tweeting. The general rule of thumb is don’t use social networking or chats in work time unless you are in demand to use it, i.e. you are running the companies Twitter feed. Personal updates should be done on personal time.