Navigating the corporate landscape can be difficult, especially because there are so many companies out there that have different values and work-culture. If you are new to the scene, there are some general rules to keep in mind that apply to the majority of workplaces.
Don’t worry you’ve got this!
1. Every day isn’t going to be full of excitement
Among 100 other things, the millennial generation is known to become easily bored. We grew up with constant stimulation and 24/7 access to information, so when we’re asked to do something that doesn’t quite pique our interest, we get bored. On top of that, many of us also grew up as overachievers, constantly competing to maintain high averages, get into the best school and land the job. We are always waiting for the next thing to dive into. The reality is that every day at work isn’t going to be exciting. There are days you are going to be watching for the clock to strike five and days you have so much to do you barely have time to eat lunch. Learn to ride the wave!
2. Don’t overshare details about your life
Thanks to social media and the Internet, we live In a society where sharing intimate details about our lives is now commonplace. In fact, some people find it strange when they know nothing about a person after scrolling through their social media profiles. In the real world, it’s important to set boundaries, especially as you enter into the workplace. Your coworkers don’t need to know — and don’t care about how your relationship is in perils or how much you love to party on the weekends. Be conservative with what you share around the office and don’t reveal information that could be considered career limiting.
3. Say yes
If you don’t know how to complete a task you’ve been asked to do, don’t fret – that’s what Google is for! To stand out at work, be open to new challenges and be prepared to say yes to projects and tasks you may not be an expert on. Showing initiative and a willingness to help out in areas that may not have been outlined in your contract, is almost always well regarded in the workplace. Worst case scenario, you ask a co-worker or someone experienced in this task to give you some advice or pointers!
4. Exude a positive attitude
Even if you’re having a bad day, the whole office doesn’t need to know it. Try your best to keep a friendly and open demeanor, even if you feel like crawling under your desk to have a good cry. Depending on your relationship with your boss, you can disclose information about certain personal hardships affecting your work. Try to do so professionally and share details that only pertain to your job performance. Otherwise, take a few days off or be prepared to suck it up while at work.
5. Dress appropriately
Although most workplaces don’t have an “official dress code policy,” employees are still expected to dress business-casual and somewhat conservatively. Ladies, avoid short skirts and low-cut tops and guys, avoid wearing hoodies and baseball caps. There is a time and a place for such attire — the workplace isn’t one of them. I suggest wearing a simple pant-suit the first few days of work, to give you time to assess what your coworkers are wearing. If everyone is wearing jeans and tshirts every single day, this may signal a more relaxed view on appropriate work-wear and they probably don’t expect to see you in a full suit and tie.
Again, not every workplace is the same and it will take time to gauge the in’s and out’s of your new office.
No one expects you to be perfect, but conducting yourself professionally from the start will benefit you in the long run.
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