Recent graduates across the country are preparing to start their first post-collegiate jobs and will soon pack their dorm lifestyle for a new office space – but what do their personal habits say about their professional image? MonsterTRAK reveals the top ten tips for workplace etiquette.
"Embarking on your first job in the real world is an exciting time and often exudes a huge sense of accomplishment. It is important to remember, however, that even the smallest things you do – from the way you dress to the pictures on your desk – will be noticed by your new colleagues," said Mark Charnock, vice president and general manager, MonsterTRAK. "Gauge the office environment before personalizing your workspace and take notice of how co-workers express themselves. Remember – you only get one chance to make a first impression."
MonsterTRAK’s Top Ten List for Workplace Etiquette:
1. Say Cheese! – Instead of chronicling your party adventures with college buddies, display PG-rated photos of yourself with friends and family.
2. Rock On… Quietly – Before rocking out at your desk, ask your supervisor if playing music is allowed. If so, use headphones as to not distract others. Regardless of this protocol – be sure to avoid downloading music onto your work computer.
3. Ring-a-Ling – Set the cell phone to vibrate or silent mode – especially while attending a meeting or if your ringer is the latest dance beat. Keep personal calls and text messaging to a minimum, preferably during your breaks.
4. Buddy Lists – Instant messaging is a great way to stay connected with the outside world but not all offices permit the use of instant messaging, so be sure to ask a supervisor before downloading any services. Also, be sure your friends and co-workers are kept on separate lists to avoid any embarrassing mistakes.
5. Love, Not War – Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing. However, screaming your praises for a favored political candidate, for example, is best kept to yourself – at least in the beginning – to avoid creating office politics of your own.
6. Brown Bag Lunch – It is not uncommon to eat lunch at your desk, therefore be aware of what you pack. Certain foods are more pungent than others, so be considerate of those sitting around you.
7. Personal Grooming – Everyone likes to make a good impression, but keep your environment in mind. While hand lotion, lip balm, breath fresheners and a hair brush are appropriate to keep at your desk; hairsprays, nail polish and perfumes or colognes should only be used in the restroom.
8. Allergy-Inducing Decorations – Plants and flowers are an easy way to add a little warmth and a touch of home to your workspace, but your neighbor may think those beautiful bouquets cause more problems than pleasure. Succulents, ferns and orchids are usually allergy-friendly; just remember to keep them watered – no one likes dead plants.
9. Resources and Reading – Employers appreciate resourceful employees; if you have reference books that you think will be helpful, by all means bring them in. Be sure to recognize, however, that the most recent Harry Potter installment or People Magazine don’t qualify for most jobs.
10. Friendly Visitors – Keep in mind that your desk isn’t the best hangout spot when friends stop by to meet for lunch. Ask visitors to wait in the lobby or in the front of the building to avoid disturbing your co-workers.
For more tips to help you succeed in the workplace, including ways to avoid gossip and office politics or how to be a good listener instead of a know-it-all, reference this MonsterTRAK article before you embark on your new job:
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