At the very center of having a successful career is behaving professionally. Perhaps you are fresh out of University looking to learn the ropes or maybe you’re just looking to become a better employee overall. No matter your reasoning, you can behave professionally by arriving to work prepared, having good morals, and honing your skills.
1. Arrive early each day: Don’t be that employee who’s barely making it in the door at 8:00AM or the one who regularly comes fifteen minutes late. Get up early in the mornings so you can arrive to work early; this will show that you are dedicated to your job. Don’t rush out at 5PM, either. Stay a few minutes afterwards to check emails or finish up tasks.
2. Dress well and maintain good hygiene: In addition to punctuality, professional dress is very important.
Pay attention to how your coworkers dress. Each company has its own definition of professional dress. For example, if everyone is wearing khakis and button-down shirts, don’t show up in a suit everyday. Blend into the company’s dress culture.
3. Keep organized: Keep your desk, cubicle or office space neat and clean. Put documents in drawers or filing cabinets and organize them based on project type and year. Keep a calendar to keep track of your appointments, meetings, and projects.
4. Stay updated on your emails: Be the employee that responds to emails in a timely fashion, with no more than two days in between a response. Respond to emails from your boss or superiors as soon as possible. Reread all emails before sending to check for typos.Respond to emails in a professional manner, even if the sender writes to you casually.
5. Be an excellent communicator: Stay on topic when delivering information and keep your updates as succinct as possible, avoiding unnecessary information. When in doubt about information or instructions, ask open-ended questions.
6. Practice presentations in advance: If you have to present your work to your colleagues or some other audience, be ready. Create a slideshow and have notes on hand to refresh your memory. Practice several times in advance to prepare a polished presentation, calm your nerves, and ensure that you’re prepared for questions.
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