Job Etiquette - Establishing Professionalism

Job etiquette, professionalism, professionalism in the workplace. How to be elegant and confident at work.

Simple Tips for Professionalism

at your office

  • Every company has a culture. If everyone calls your boss Mr Tan, you should call him Mr Tan in the office even though if he has asked you privately to address him as Charles during a game of golf.
  • If you are not sure how to address a person, especially in an informal setting, ask politely, "How may I address you please?"
  • A big common blunder is to refer to assistants as my girl (oh how many times have I heard this!)
  • It is better to refer to as "my assistant".
  • "She works for me," is okay too but I prefer to say, "Alicia works with me," or "Alicia, who works with me..."




How NOT to be Annoying

Job Etiquette - Interacting with your work colleagues.

  • Always use please and thank yous no matter what is your rank in the company. Do not use vulgarities.
  • Make polite requests. Ensure that they do not sound like orders.
  • Check your tone of voice. You don't want to give the wrong idea.
  • Do not barge into someone's office without knocking. Knock before you enter and ask if he or she has a spare minute.
  • Do not leave things on the desk on top of his or her things even if you have written a sticky note.
  • If you are on the phone, do not attempt to speak to those who have entered into your office.
  • Resolve conflict professionally with tact and courtesy.




Phone and Email on the Job Etiquette

If you have to make business phone calls or answer them, please see Business Telephone Etiquette.

Be sure to apply professional Cell Phone Manners.

Read about some common do-s and don'ts when it comes to Workplace Email Etiquette

Job Etiquette

Conducting Business Etiquette

  • Emply basic courtesies: such as speaking softly and quietly in a public place, holding the door for the person behind you, being considerate in the lift etc. job etiquette
  • Both man and women should shake hands with each other, no matter who offers it first. Women may offer her hand for a handshake.
  • Read up more about Proper Business Card Etiquette
  • Whoever is hosting a business lunch pays for it. Whoever invites a client out to lunch pays for it, no matter what gender.
  • Consideration for shared spaces, coffee pots etc. Leave the place neat and clean as you have found them, or even neater.
  • Keep things professional. This includes your attire, posture and your language.

    For example, no matter what great friends you and your boss are, there should be some professional formality and not too much familiarity.

    This professional formality should also be reflected by the way you speak on the phone, in emails, presentations and project discussions.

  • Do not apply your social manners in a business situation. There is right place for everything. This usually applies to the area of business entertaining. For more information, see Business Meal Etiquette
  • No matter what happens at home and in personal life, do not bring those dark clouds or excitement to the office. If something affects you deeply, speak to your boss and take the day off.
  • Try not to eat at your desk. It may disturb others: its smell, noise or having food in your waste paper baskets may attract pests. Meals ought to be had in a dining area like a canteen, pantry etc.
  • If you are required to handle clients from different countries and cultures, it is advisable to study International Business Etiquette and British Etiquette which is the standard for international etiquette.
  • Increasingly companies have to deal with a big emerging market in China. These are helpful to know: Chinese Manners and Chinese Dining Etiquette


What is Dressing Professionally in Job Etiquette?

professional dress
  • Have you heard that clothes maketh the woman?
  • Be professional in your dress at all times, but stay within the dress code of your company's culture.
  • The way you dress communicates to everyone around you, your clients, your coworkers, your boss, how you feel about yourself and how you want them to feel about you.



Professional Dress Guidelines

  • Clean, neat. wrinkle free clothes

  • Minimal perfume

  • Appropriate length of skirt

  • Depends on the industry you work in.

  • Never go over the top. Too much hair, make up, jewelry, too casual, too low cut.

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What is Professionalism in Job Etiquette?

  • Do not mix business with pleasure. Keep your private life away from your professional life.

  • Conduct your personal affairs during your personal time, for instance, during lunch hour.

  • Do not steal office stationary.

  • Keep using office appliances for personal usage to a minimum, such as a company phone, photocopying machine, fax. Do so as discretely as possible because you don't want to encourage this type of behavior.

  • Do not gossip. What goes around comes around.

  • If there is a conflict between two parties, do not take sides and remain neutral.

  • Keep company secrets to yourself.

  • Keep your table and desk as neat as possible.

  • Always arrive early. Spend 10 minutes early to prepare your day.

  • Always rise when a client walks into your office, conference room etc.



Etiquette Quitting A Job

How To Properly Quit Your Job

  • Resigning elegantly and professionally ensures that bridges are not burnt should you one day come back or cross paths again.
  • The etiquette quitting a job is to first check how much notice you are required to give.
  • Let your employer know as soon as possible.
  • Make preparations to leave. Discuss a termination date. Start handing over your projects etc.
  • Express appreciation when it is final. You may want to write a letter of thanks, highlighting all the opportunities that have been extended to you. Keep your statements short and positive.
  • For more information, please see Etiquette Quitting A Job
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