By now you’re all wowing your co-workers with our communication skills, but there’s much more to discuss when it comes to professionalism.
The last thing you want to do in a new office is get off on the wrong foot. As some of us may know, it takes a long time to change someone’s mind about you. So if you stumbled into a meeting a few weeks ago with your tie askew, your hair mussed and a coffee stain on your shirt, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Who do you want to be? How do you want others to think of you? This includes your appearance, attitude, personality, values and more. As a recruiter I’ve seen a few red flags early on from some of my new hires. One fell asleep during training. To make matters worse, she fell asleep while the GM was talking! Unfortunately, there was no coming back from that mistake. One guy just couldn’t seem to retain information during the interview process. He constantly mixed up dates and times as if he had no recollection that we’d ever spoken. Given the complexity of our business I brought the matter to the manager and questioned whether we should still bring him on board. These are things that are hard for a manager to ignore and, sadly, it can take months for that new hire to change the manager’s mind.
On a more positive note we’ve also had several candidates come into the business, pick it up quickly and get promoted at warp speed. One young lady several years ago took time to visit one of our offices for several hours before she ever applied. When I found out I knew she really wanted the job and she’s been extremely successful. That is what you want people to remember.
Another place where you can make a good first impression is during company meals. Of course, you want to follow the rules of etiquette: napkin in your lap, work from the outside in with your silverware and remember your bread plate is on your left and your drink on your right. If you tend to forget, simply watch the Top Dog at the table and do what she does.
Beyond the basics, order how she orders, wait until everyone gets their meals before digging in, and don’t eat as though it’s your last meal. If everyone else orders the $20 meal, I beg you not to order the market price lobster and dessert.
Choose your friends wisely. When you first arrive at the job you don’t know the lay of the land. You have no idea that Shirley is a gossip who used to date Bob in Sales and Mike in Marketing. Not to mention Tony in Accounting was accused of skimming money but it really turned out to be Stacy who they canned right away. And Troy used to be some bigwig in the company but got demoted instead of fired because he’s the nephew of one of the higher ups.
And guess what? You don’t want to know. Anyone bringing you news like this is going to drag you down with them. Make your own observations. Draw your own conclusions. And don’t buddy up with those you perceive as troublemakers. I promise they will make trouble for you.
Have a great week, and stop back next time for more tips in professionalism.