Presentation on theme: "Professionalism in The Workplace. Preparing for your New Position Making the transition from graduate student to professional in the workplace can be."— Presentation transcript:
Professionalism in The Workplace
Preparing for your New Position Making the transition from graduate student to professional in the workplace can be a challenge. However, if you understand the expectations of the workplace you are entering, this move from graduate school to the world of work can be done successfully. It is important to make the distinction between being a student and being an employee. The expectations for communication, behavior and appearance will be much different.
Communication Regardless of the field you enter, every employer will expect you to be able to communicate effectively, regardless of medium. While texting is the tool of choice for most in school, it is not always appropriate in the world of work. You must be able to write more formally, including your email.
Communication Punctuation, capitalization, and grammar are important in all written communication, including email. Do not compose emails the same way in which you speak. Your written communications should always be more formal than when you speak to someone in person. Use your first few weeks on the job to evaluate corporate culture. If your employer uses short, concise sentences, then follow suit. Never put anything in an email that you would not say in person. Also, if you are not sure that your information will be conveyed appropriately, do not send an email, instead pick up the phone and call.
Communication Return calls and emails within 24 hours whenever possible, and depending on who has contacted your, faster if at all possible. When calling someone, even if you are absolutely sure that they will know who you are, always identify yourself and ask if they have a few moments to speak with you, particularly if you call them directly. Talk less and listen more.
Communication Always take the opportunity to praise others who are worthy of praise, and do so publicly whenever possible. Also, never criticize in public. When someone is telling you a story, do not interrupt. Listen and avoid following up with a story of your own. When someone compliments you for your work, do not say, “It was nothing”, (or say, “no problem”) as this belittles their compliment. Say that you appreciate it, thank them with a smile, and move on. Be respectful to everyone, regardless of their level in the organization.
Communication Never use profanity in the workplace, even if others around you do. Respect the authority of those in positions higher than yours. Do not assume that you can call someone by their first name until they ask you to do so. Even when calling someone by their first name, use the same level of respect as if you had called them by their title.
Social Media Review your media footprint. Google yourself, review your profiles and social media sites; inspect all photos that are posted of you. While on the job, never post anything to social media sites that you would not want your boss or supervisor to see. Avoid politically charged posts, and think about friends who may post things to your timeline that may be deemed questionable. Review your friends and following lists. Now may be a time to review and revise your lists and refine who you allow to see your profiles. It is NEVER appropriate to post information about your organization, your superiors, or your colleagues online. Posts are NEVER private and always permanent.
Behavior – First Week Before you even walk through the front doors to your building, be sure that you fully understand the business of your organization and your role in contributing to its success. – Be prepared to effectively explain this to whoever may ask, including your supervisor. If you understand how you can contribute to your organization’s success, you can set attainable and relevant goals for your own performance. Be an early morning person. Arriving early always makes a better first impression than staying late. And, don’t walk out the door right at quitting time.
Behavior – First Week Each time you are introduced to someone new, repeat their name during the introduction and once you have some quiet time, write it down. – Being able to call your co-workers, and especially your superiors, by name while still new to the organization makes a significant impression. Personalize your work area, but not too personal. Frame your degree and hang it on the wall. Put a small picture on your desk. Get a nameplate so everyone will know who you are.
Behavior – First Month Plan your day each morning upon your arrival to the office or before you leave the office the night before. Ten to fifteen minutes of planning will equal an extra hour or more of productivity throughout the day. Be the first person to say Hello to others in the morning. And say it with a smile. Never leave a half cup of coffee in the coffee maker for the next person. Always make a fresh pot.
Behavior – First Month Keep an extra shirt or blouse, pressed and boxed, in your car or tucked away in your workspace. You never know when you may need a quick change to maintain a professional appearance. Arrive at meetings on time. Bring extra work so that you can pass the time with while you are waiting for others. Do not doodle during meetings. If topics being covered are outside of your area, look at your schedule and review what you need to accomplish that day.
Behavior – First Month Eat lunch in. You will save both time and money. $10 per lunch out adds up to more than $4,000 per year. However, do not pass up opportunities to network with co-workers and build professional connections during the lunch hour. Take others in your company out to lunch to learn more about their jobs and their departments. Let them do the talking while you do the listening. Go for a brisk walk each day. Park at the far end of the lot in the morning. Or stretch your legs during lunch. It will clear your mind and make you more productive for the remainder of the day.
Appearance In your first week, establish the rules for dress. Employers define business casual very broadly. Always ask what is appropriate. Denim Fridays in some firms means dress jeans with a jacket, in others it may mean casual jeans with an organization’s polo. Dress for the level to which you aspire – you will already look as though you have arrived and your bosses will easily view you as working at the next level. When in doubt, dress for more. It is easy to remove a jacket, loosen a tie. It is far more difficult to dress up a casual look.
Appearance For those industries with a strong client focus, the image presented to the customer is critical. Keep this in mind when selecting your attire. Never confuse a business function with a social event. Don't dress for a party or a date. Basic professional attire does not change with the whims of fashion. A good suit should last five to ten years, depending on its quality, how well you care for it, and if it continues to fit you well. You can express fashion trends in your off-the-job clothing and conservatively in your accessories.
Ethics in the World of Work Before you leave your college campus, develop a value statement for yourself underscoring what integrity and ethics mean to you. Understand what standing by your values will mean to you in the workplace. Have integrity in all you do. You will be amazed how far it sets you above your peers. Make good on your promises. Never make a promise you are not sure you can keep. A good motto to live by is “Promise little and deliver a lot.”