You’re hired! You did your research, you prepped correctly for the interview and you out shined 12 others for the job. Think you will retire from this company in 40 years with a gold watch? Probably not in these volatile economic times and, without correct business etiquette savvy, you might not make it past the first 40 days.
In most states, employers have tremendous leverage over the typical employee- often including the verbiage “termination at will” in an employee contract at time of hire. Knowing some of the typical reasons an employer can fire at will, will help leverage your position and keep you on track to retain employment.
Here are 10 tips to help new graduates navigate the office environment and feel more confident about workplace performance:
1. Leave your cell phone turned off during the day. If you are expecting an urgent call, let the employer know and put the phone on vibrate. Take the call outside of the office
2. Do not spend the day texting your friends and family. Further, it’s incredibly rude to text during an in or out of office meeting. Most employers have strict rules regarding cell phone/texting usage
3. Don’t use the Internet for shopping or sending personal emails. Never use the computer for anything illegal or immoral. Again, most employers have specific rules governing computer usage AND have the right to monitor your computer at any time.
4. Be careful what you say about your job/supervisor on Facebook and other social media sites. You never know who is watching your page and listening to your tweets.
5. Know your job and what is expected of you. Show that you have initiative and will always go “over and beyond the call of your job description.”
6. Do not help yourself to extra supplies – some companies actually do random checks of your belongings to make sure you are not helping yourself to reams of company copy paper.
7. Leave personal issues at home and show up every day and on time. In fact, have a back up to your back up babysitter. Make sure you have child care issues in place before you take on the job.
8. Don’t perpetuate gossip or get in the middle of it. And don’t be that person who hangs around with the whiners, complainers and gossipers.
9. Do give your coworkers credit when it’s due. Always be respectful working on team projects
10. If you make a mistake – own it, admit it and move on from it. Making a mistake generally won’t get you fired, it’s putting the blame on someone else that will.
All employers look for one thing – “how well will this person represent my company?” Always look for ways to outshine the competition. That gold watch may not be what you are after – keeping your job in today’s unpredictable employment climate is.
Lori is the co-author of the widely respected, Good Manners Are Contagious. Since 1985, Lori has had a successful private Career/Life Coach consultation practice which has provided strategy, structure and professional life / business coaching solutions to her clients to achieve the results to build better lives filled with success, satisfaction and achievement. She owned and operated American Barrister, a highly successful legal recruitment staffing agency, “ranked as one of the top attorney consulting firms” by New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia firms. Her company was dedicated to helping young professionals polish their presentation and interpersonal skills, and seasoned employees recognize hidden talent to outperform the competition. See her website, http://www.BusinessEtiquette.Biz