Pharos-Tribune

Business

July 13, 2014

ON THE JOB: Office etiquette for the new professional

Getting that first full-time job can be a bit overwhelming if you’re a recent grad or new professional. The rest of your life is ahead of you and this entry-level opportunity could be the beginning of a long and successful career. Having a firm grasp of office etiquette is essential for fitting in and building relationships within the new organization.

Never assume that how things worked in college or past jobs is going to be how things work in the professional world; that’s rarely the case.

Take your cues from the company’s values and the office environment that’s already established. The biggest mistake is going into your first professional job and thinking you can change the way the office is run. You want to sit back and learn from this experience, build your brand as a professional and use that as a building block for the future. Here are some etiquette tips for common office situations that can help you do just that:

Email. Email can be a very powerful tool to communicate in the office; in some organizations, it’s the only tool. When emailing, always remember your brand — your professional reputation, the way you want others to see you — or at least the brand you want to establish. Always fill the subject line with concise information that lets the recipient know what the message is about; perhaps include the action you’re hoping for, like “FOR YOUR REVIEW” or “FOR YOUR INFORMATION.” And always close with a signature box at the bottom that includes your name, title, organization and contact information. You can also share the URL of the company’s website as appropriate.

Never deliver bad news via email. Don’t gossip, complain or vent using email. And perhaps one of the most important tips: Remember that if you hit “reply all,” everyone on the original email will see your response. Be sure there’s nothing in there that’s rude or embarrassing or just meant for certain eyes. Always be courteous and think before you email.

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