Career decorum has changed dramatically in recent years. With the significant expansion of hybrid work environments and remote workers social norms have shifted a bit. That being said, regardless of if you are starting an internship or are mid-career, how you present yourself to others in the workplace matters. Here are some tips and tricks for maintaining your professionalism regardless of if you are back in the office or working from home.
Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch
Organizational culture trumps about every aspect of finding success in taking on a new job. If your personal ethics don’t align with those of the organizations, you will never be totally satisfied with your job. The values, policies, and procedures of a workplace can be diﬃcult to discern at ﬁrst. Observing the atmosphere and actions of others can help you understand what’s appropriate and what’s not, and how to best navigate the workplace while maintaining your professionalism.
Regardless of if you are working from home or back in the office it is important to avoid participating in the rumor mill. It’s easy to fall into the trap of judging other’s work ethic or job performance, but it won’t get you ahead professionally. How you treat people says a lot about you. Don’t make value judgments on people’s importance in the workplace or speak negatively about your co-workers, even if you ﬁnd yourself frustrated over a certain situation. Be thoughtful about how you interact with your supervisor(s), peers, and subordinates as well.
Communication is everything
Communication is an important part of workplace etiquette. In fact much research has confirmed that communication is the “room that ties the room together.” Good communication is one of the most critical aspects to your ultimate professional success or failure. Both written and verbal communication are key. It’s sometimes not what you say, but how you say it that counts so be mindful of how you communicate with your colleagues. Regarding email, be sure your correspondence is written clearly and free of spelling errors. Please recall that email is a permanent record of any conversation so never put anything in writing that you would say to someone’s face.
Make a Good First Impression
People often form impressions about others within seconds of meeting, so it’s important to ensure you present yourself in a professional manner. Be aware of your body language and how others may perceive it. A good rule of thumb is to stand straight, maintain eye contact, and smile! Make sure you know the workplace dress code and oﬃce policies ahead of time. Arrive on-time and be prepared for important meetings.
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