Imagine you’re sitting at your desk in an open-plan office, the bustling sound of early morning projects are taking place while you take a sip of your first coffee of the day and set about your own tasks. It’s 10 past 9 and your new colleague comes barrelling through the doors, shirt untucked, lazy expression plastered across their face – what’s your first thought? It’s probably not ‘wow, what a committed and efficient individual, I must discuss their promotion with the boss’. Your position in the workplace is not only reflected in your work, but also how you behave amongst your colleagues and how you treat the job? Is this just a means to an end or is it going to help your career? Either way the utmost professionalism will always steer you to a better path than taking the more relaxed approach. If you want to be taken seriously by your boss, respected by your colleagues and appreciated by the Company in general, then we would recommend taking note of the following tips.
1. Dress Appropriately
In a corporate environment nothing less than spotless is suitable. Remember, a sharp suit doesn’t need to cost the earth and you don’t need to wear a different outfit every single day. You just need to appear clean, tidy and very smart. High street shops everywhere sell work attire at great prices these days so there is no excuse to turn up to work in a pair of jeans (Unless it’s dress-down Friday of course!) equally, if you do have the outfit, don’t forget to work it! Tuck in your shirt, keep your hair tidy and if you choose to wear make-up, ensure you are presentable for the office! Image isn’t everything, but it’s certainly the first impression.
2. Know your stuff!
Prepare for EVERYTHING. If you have a meeting with your Manager, ensure you’ve researched the topic. If you are meeting a client make sure you have absolutely everything you need to wow them. The only way you’ll get noticed in a sea of employees is by knowing your facts and backing up your theories. Go get that promotion!
3. Learn and appreciate
Everyone can learn something from someone. There is a growing trend from Graduates to leave University with a certain air of entitlement about them. Sure, you rocked that cap and gown as well as the next person and, ok, you breezed past thousands of applicants for the one internship available at that one Company you were interested in but that’s where your achievements stop so far. Now you have to prove how worth it you are! Appreciate the experience your seniors have and become a sponge, inhale every bit of information you can and show your eagerness to progress! Equally, perhaps you have 15 years’ experience behind you and feel you know everything there is to know but it’s always worth remembering that everything changes and there is always more to learn, ways to improve and people to teach you new things.
4. Work hard
Nothing shows commitment like getting stuck in to a job. Working in general is a hard slog for everyone but you can always tell the dedicated individuals from the lazy ones. You will be widely recognised and respected across your office if your work is always done accurately and on time!
5. Remember office etiquette
It may not seem necessary but corporate etiquette is a skill that seems to have been forgotten. Can you remember when you were taught to answer a telephone politely? How to hold a conversation with a professional or shake some body’s hand correctly? Unless you were taught at home the likelihood is you have no idea that any of these are even skills to begin with! The truth is working in a business environment requires a completely different personality than at home with your friends and family. Mind your manners, practice the correct way to speak in the office (no slang, no slurs and absolutely no swearing) and learn how to email and use the telephone correctly!
In some ways, working in a professional environment is an art lost in the uprising of social media and self-employment yet there are so many ways you can propel your career forward just in the way you carry yourself, the way you choose to work and how you behave around your colleagues and superiors. Try some of our tips out and see how the work for you. We’d love to know what you think! firstname.lastname@example.org