Unlike having the perfect talent, being professional in the workplace can be learned. And since everyone can learn professionalism, everyone has a duty to be professional at work. It may be hard at first, especially if you are not used to the etiquette in the workplace. But as long as you remember all the rules, you’ll always act like a professional.
Below are some reminders on how you should act professionally in the workplace:
- Use office supplies properly. The rule of thumb here is to use office things for office matters only. Do not use the telephone to call your wife or use the photocopier to make copies of your child’s school report.
- Don’t be gender biased. Some men are insecure that women can do better than they can. Whether a woman or a man, it’s more professional to respect them regardless of their gender. Remember, respect should be given to everyone and everything—even things deserve respect, so why not give a person respect, too?
- Treat women differently from men. It’s okay for men to be thrown dirty jokes. But this can be offending to women. For men, it’s okay to talk about private matters. But for most women, this is a big no-no. Always treat women with a higher level or respect because they are more sensitive compared to men.
- Be productive. You are paid to work, so, you should not do anything that is not related to work during office hours. Make sure that the company’s investment on you is all worth it. If you feel degraded because of your low salary, then maybe it’s time to consider finding a better-paying job. But as long as you are there, that means you have to adhere to the terms and conditions of the company.
- Hang out with officemate friends after office hours. While at work, all of you are co-workers, not friends.
- Talk like a professional. Never use obscene or derogatory language. Treat everyone with respect and everyone will treat you with respect, too. If you want to say something negative about a person, it’s better to keep it to yourself.
- Fulfill your promise. It’s easier to give your boss a promise than to fulfill that promise. So, better not promise anything if you can’t fulfill this promise. Your boss’s trust on you will slowly diminish every time you can’t keep a promise.
- Choose your topics. During break, it’s fun to talk about anything under the sun. But it’s better not to raise topics that divide people like politics and religion. Better talk about simpler things like family, friends, and work.
- Respect privacy. Never eavesdrop when your officemates are talking. Never peep on what your officemates are doing with his computer. Give them the privacy that they need.
- Stop rumors. Never indulge in spreading rumors. Gossips will only stop if you don’t pass the message to other people.
Being professional promotes better relationship with your workmates and your boss. You’ll dignify yourself, too, if you act professionally in the workplace. The tips above will help you start being professional. There are more things to do to be a real professional. But generally, being kind to people will do the trick.