Career Advice

How to Conduct Yourself at Work

Written by Joanna Hughes

Workplace success relies on much more than simply fulfilling the requirements of your job description. “Professionalism,” is a valuable trait, and its basic tenets can be applied to any job in any field. If you want to truly excel not just in your job, but also as a contributing member of your organizational culture, make these 10 simple practices part of your personal conduct code.

1. Punctuality Power

Arriving on time to work and for meetings demonstrates commitment to your job. Chronic lateness, meanwhile, is a blatant show of disrespect for your coworkers, superiors and entire organization. Keep an eye on the clock both at the start of the day and during your lunch break to make sure you arrive and return on time.

2. Keep It Positive

Bad days. Everyone has them. But bringing your bad attitude into work not only reflects poorly on you but also accomplishes nothing. Resist the urge to take out your bad feelings on others and instead commit to check your attitude at the door. Focus your energy on the positives: what can you do to make a bad situation better?

3. Dress for the Job You Want

You may have heard the expression, “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.” Even if you’re happy in your job it’s still important to look your best. This doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a suit, but it does mean looking neat, clean and well-groomed at all times. Practice good hygiene and avoid overly casual wardrobe pieces, such as shorts and flip flops.

4. Lend a Hand

The stereotypical “dog eat dog” office environment has been replaced by cultures which value collaboration beyond all else. If your coworker needs help with a project, offer to pitch in. Remember that the accomplishments of your colleagues also reflect well on you and your entire organization.

5. Listen Up

Just as you should be willing to share your knowledge and talents with your coworkers, you should be equally receptive to the contributions of others. The expression “many hands make light work,” holds true in the workplace for those willing to accept the assistance of others.

6. Give Up on Gossip

No one expects you to like all of your coworkers, but sharing your negative opinions and personal gossip interferes with productivity. This doesn’t just pertain to talking about others, but also to talking about yourself. Being friendly with your coworkers is one thing but chronically airing your dirty laundry over the water cooler is unprofessional.

7. Learn From Your Mistakes

In life, no one is immune from mistakes. It’s inevitable that workplace mistakes will occur, but acknowledging your errors, making your best effort to correct them, and learning along the way can help you recover and avoid future falters.

8. Stay in Control

When coworkers are exasperating and deadlines are intense, work can be a stressful place. Keep your temper in check during challenging situations. If you can’t control your emotions, walk away until you’re in a calmer state of mind.

9. Understand Office Etiquette

Do you text during meetings? Leave dirty dishes in the communal kitchen? These office no-nos are disrespectful and can interfere with how you’re perceived by others. Pay careful attention to office etiquette and make sure your behavior is in line with expectations.

10. Honor Your Commitments

Procrastination is a fact or life, but in the workplace it can lead to frustration between colleagues. Follow through on your responsibilities and your coworkers will view you as reliable. Conversely, show appreciation to coworkers who do the same.

11. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Independent of level or title, every person in your workplace deserves to be treated with respect. The more respected team members feel, the better you’ll be able to communicate and collaborate for optimal results.

The best part of these 10 rules of office conduct? They’re simple to execute and yet offer big rewards. For more information on the 21st century job market or to sign up for job match alert visit TheJobNetwork.

About the author

Joanna Hughes

Joanna Hughes is a freelance writer who specializes in business, human resources and the job market. She lives with her family in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire.