When you are first starting in a professional job, it can often be hard to know what type of behaviour is okay for the workplace versus what is inappropriate. Take a read through this week’s blog where we talk about some things that are definitely not appropriate. Hopefully this will help you avoid some potentially awkward or unfortunate situations when you first start your career.
- Offensive language
Although some work environments are more casual than others and some colleagues (often your superiors) may use ‘colourful’ language at work, it is always safer to avoid anything that could be considered offensive when you are first starting at a company. Often your colleagues will also become friends, but when you’re first starting, use as much ‘official’ or polite language as possible. The last thing you want to do is to make a bad first impression on a colleague or manager by telling a bad joke or saying something aggressive in your first weeks or months.
- Lack of courtesy
No matter your level, it is always best practice to treat everyone with courtesy and respect. Raising your voice at your colleagues or being rude towards your supervisors or subordinates, demonstrates a lack of emotional intelligence, which an important skill in the modern workforce. As a general rule, treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.
- Lack of responsibility
Everyone makes mistakes – no matter how experienced or knowledgeable you are. While this is inevitable, some people simply refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes, putting the blame on someone else, in the hopes of avoiding negative repercussions.
It is never appropriate to blame someone else for something you’ve done. The best leaders and employees acknowledge they have made a mistake and take action to correct it and ensure it does not happen again in the future. We are all human, what truly sets apart star employees is how they handle failure, learn from it and improve from it.
Generally, if you are in doubt – do not do it! If you think something you are about to say or do may be over the line, be cautious. It is always best to err on the side of caution when you are dealing with potentially inappropriate workplace conduct.