“Remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Respect for others in the workplace is vital. Be sure not to do or say anything to others that would offend them or make them feel uncomfortable. Respect the differences in and the diversity of your coworkers. In your first job, you are likely to work with individuals who have range of experiences and backgrounds. You will work with people of various racial, ethnic, gender, religious and other backgrounds. The key for you is to embrace, or at least accept, these differences. Never treat others insensitively because of them.”
That’s one huge piece of advice from the book “Life After College: The New Graduate’s Guide” written by Hundreds of Recent Graduates (and some other great experts). That’s honestly how’s it’s listed by author! It should also be noted that Nadia Blichik is listed as ‘Special Editor,’ which is sort of like an author. Crack the book open, and you’ll understand instantly who the real authors are.
A few weeks ago, I offered Office Etiquette Rules to follow once you’ve landed yourself a seat in the Real Working World office. There are a few more I’d like to share with you.
Office Rule #6 – Keep your personal matters and opinions at home
It’s OK to have strong views, but it’s not okay to push those views on your coworkers or pick fights with them when they do something you don’t approve of (See the Golden Rule above). It’s good to have thought-provoking conversations, but don’t let it get out of hand.
Office Rule #7 – Consider your co-workers when packing your lunch
This is crucial. Don’t believe me? Remember that time your co-worker raved about how good their cod pasta was that they had for dinner the night before, and then force you to suffer through their smelly meal? Please don’t be that guy. If your meal will stink when it’s reheated, save it for dinner at your home. If you’re ordering in lunch, try to avoid the smelly stuff. It lingers longer than you’d think.
Also, snacking at your desk could be bothering someone else. Hearing someone chop on handful after handful of walnuts is pretty irritating; especially when you’re whatever you’re working on requires all of your focus. It can’t be helped if desks are right next to each other, but be respectful.
Office Rule #8 – Watch your language, even when you’re away from your desk
Anything you do during the day, even when you’re on break, is a reflection of your professional self. Whenever you’re in the work place, there’s always a chance a client might witness or hear you when you let that curse word slip.
Office Rule #9 – If problems arise, handle them privately.
If clients see you clash with a co-worker, you’ll both come off looking unprofessional. Treat your colleagues with respect and hopefully they’ll follow your lead. Even if your co-worker appears to be incredibly incompetent, wait to deal with the situation once you’re out of everyone’s earshot. It probably wouldn’t hurt to have a private conversation with your boss, too.
Rule #10 – Respect company property
No lifting sticky notes from the supply closet or taking the company car for a personal errand shopping spree. Anything that might be considered stealing is most likely grounds for dismissal, even if the task at hand is pretty innocent, like stopping at the post office to drop off a care package for grandma.