You could be absolutely perfect for the position and do everything down to the ‘T,’ but you may have a problem fitting in with your colleagues.
We’ve all heard or experienced this scenario before… it feels like family, right? Becoming chummy with your colleagues has both its advantages and disadvantages – feeling comfortable doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing well. In fact the majority of the time if you feel comfortable you subconsciously start slacking off in small ways that some wouldn’t even notice.
- Go The Extra Mile – if there are finger prints on the glass doors or window panes that the cleaner missed, polish them away. It takes less than five minutes to do so, it’s productive and it’s true that a cleaner environment makes for a happier you.
- Don’t Expect Praise – Sometimes you could be doing really well, but that doesn’t mean that the manager is going to let you know that! You need to earn praise, don’t expect it to be handed to you on a platter after not mucking anything up in the first week.
- Leave Your Problems At The Door – I think every manager’s nightmare is hiring someone who darkens everyone’s day. Try to be optimistic about things in general. Happiness and unhappiness are contagious. If you’re having personal issues at home whether it is with your folks, your partner, a friend or your kids… just be aware that this is not works problem. You will only make matters worse for yourself by putting a downer on everyone else’s day. Don’t put your job in jeopardy.
- Free Up Your Calendar – Unless they are arrangements made prior to your employment there; try not to ask for special days off unless it is really necessary. Manager’s want someone that is flexible, someone that they can rely on. Keep that in mind next time your friends peer pressure you into taking time off to join them on a pointless drinking marathon.
- Smoke Breaks – Having recently quit smoking myself, I am in no situation to preach; but try not to take advantage of your smoking breaks no matter how stressed out you are. Your employers will definitely get fed up if you’re dashing out back into the smelly, damp alley-way every hour for a quick puff. Three times a day max, even that’s pushing it.
- Be Eager To Learn – The only questions that are stupid are the one’s that are not asked. Don’t be shy to learn, even if you think it to be the simplest of things, better safe than sorry.
- Look Presentable – Do you really think your employer wants you greeting clients or sitting behind their desk in baggy or ripped jeans, that grungy looking beanie that’s far too big for you or a button up shirt with missing buttons or a noticeable stain on the cuff? No. Keep your hair back out of your face, it opens you up and makes you look more approachable. Make sure every crease is ironed out of your clothes. Keep your nails in good condition and only wear minimum, tasteful jewelry. Don’t wear items that are undeniably too small for you (it looks trashy,) or that comfortable shirt that you think looks great but you know you actually swim in. Cover up your tattoos to the best of your ability even if it is for a video store job or personal trainer where these things can usually be overlooked.
- Women – Makeup. I know many women who either just can’t be bothered, don’t have time or just don’t like putting makeup on for work in the mornings. But lets face it, a lot of us tend to look washed out and messy without it. I have mastered painting my face in just over two minutes now (daily natural look consisting of base, blusher, mascara, earthy eye-shadow and lip balm). Would you rather be assisted by someone that looks tired and unfriendly or someone who looks well put together, pretty? I know its shallow, but its how the world works.
- Men – Why are you so lucky with so many things? Shave. That’s all. Keep it clean. If a man was assisting me who was sporting a Guinness Book of World Records beards I would be mightily distracted. Otherwise, just look after your hands. Keep the nails short and clean. Brush your hair once in a while, your girlfriend might adore the bed-head look on weekends but your manager despises it during working hours.
- Posture – Don’t turn into the Hunchback of No’tradame, even if you don’t feel like being at work today. Stand tall and proud and plough through the day.
- Distractions – Either keep your mobile off or on silent during working hours. Show your employer that work is your main priority. Facebook, Twitter and Myspace will all still be there after your eight-nine hour shift. If something happens that’s life threatening someone will get hold of you somehow and they won’t do so over social media networks anyway!!! Personal problems left at the door remember?!
- Eye Contact – When in meetings or engaging in casual conversation, make eye contact with the people you work with as well as the clients. Show interest in what they have to say. You will look confident, organized, professional and in control.
- Always Have Something To Do – If there is nothing to keep you busy other than standing around playing with your hair, find something. Don’t ask for something to keep you busy straight away, use your own initiative. Do walks around your work environment, get stuck in and dirty those hands.
It really all comes down to the first point mentioned, go the extra mile.