Are you ready for your first job? Knowing how to act professional is the first step in getting ready for job hunting and starting in workplace. Being professional means acting respectful, mature, polite and responsible. There will be times when you will be required to behave professionally in any job you hold. Here are some tips that will help you earn brownie points both at work and in life.
1. Appearance: Always dress professionally, maintain a clean appearance, keep a good posture and smile. Make sure to wear clothes appropriate for the event or environment you are entering. And ladies, avoid wearing provocative pieces like short skirts or low cut blouses. Instead, standard dress for the office is a solid color blouse, a blazer, chino pants and some flats or kitten heels. For your hair, try a simple up-do or bun to leave a clean appearance. During your interview you’ll be able to see the office dress code leaving you room to try and match it.
2. Persona: Observe proper etiquette, maintain eye contact and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion in a respectful manner. Always stay calm and controlled, carry yourself with professional confidence and keep your chin up regardless of the situation. When going into an interview stay confident but always polite, let the employer know you work well with others. While in an office meeting, express your opinions and give comments when you think it’s appropriate that way your employers know you are participating and care about your job. Always stay friendly and keep an attitude targeted towards teamwork. It’s always good to have reliable friends in the work place.
3. When speaking: Be clear and concise and set the context for your audience. If you are asked to make a speech, prepare before hand. Speak at an understandable pace and engage your audience in your presentations. Make sure to be clear and understandable in any situation so that it’s easier to get your ideas across. Make sure to keep your boss informed of your progress and ask questions when you need something clarified. Communication is key in any relationship, especially in the office.
4. First Impressions: A strong first impression will always lead the way for a good first impression. Stand up straight, smile and make sure to give a firm, confident handshake making direct eye contact with the other person. If you are sitting down, it is proper to stand up and greet whomever you are being introduce to as a sign of respect.
5. Superiors: Always respect your boss regardless of the situation. Make sure to refer to them by their last name unless given permission to do otherwise. Try and have a sense of humor but only at the appropriate times, never during a serious or very import task.
6. Don’t chime in on conversations you over hear: Even if it is work related and you know the answer to their question, do not jump into conversations that aren’t being directed at you. It is not polite and they could get the wrong idea about you. Avoid gossip and do not get involved in problems or drama.
7. Phone calls: Phone calls at work should only be work related. While talking on the phone, be polite. Don’t use inappropriate language at any time even if the person on the other end is being rude. If the person is upset, allow them to vent and tell you their side of the story. Instead of raising your voice to the match the caller’s volume, keep your voice calm, so that things don’t escalate further.
8. Be polite: Do not look down while walking because it shows lack of confidence, fear, or nervousness. Always carry yourself with confidence, and be friendly with those you encounter. Be polite to strangers by saying ‘Good afternoon’ or ‘Good morning’ and greeting them with a smile.
9. Internet: Keep computer and internet activity work related. Always keep your websites PG-13 at all times. Be as respectful to people online as you would offline, or face-to-face. Use proper language and make sure to respect everyone’s ideas or comments online. Do not surf through websites you know you shouldn’t be surfing through.
10. Cell phones: Never be on your cell phone while speaking to someone else, it is rude and very distracting. Cell phones should only be used to answer emergency calls or during break time.
Professionalism isn’t just for the adults you see working in banks and law firms wearing their pinstripe skirt suits. Get a head start now in preparing for future success by practicing these professional tips.