In an office environment and general business, you are bound to meet new people in various situations. You may have people walk into your office while you’re sitting at your desk, you may be the one walking into someone’s office while they are sitting. No matter the scenario, it is always best to stand, introduce yourself and shake their hand.
As a new employee, it is easy to remember this form of politeness, as you’re likely the one to be walking around meeting people. However, you should remember to stand when you meet any new person, especially in a business situation.
Some etiquette experts believe women don’t have to stand when they meet someone or when someone new walks into the room. I disagree. Standing, even if you are short, keeps everyone on the same in the same plane and at eye level. Not to mention, standing keeps you from subconsciously acting like a member of the royal family with servants to kiss your hand.
Ask just about anyone you know and they will tell you the first day at a new job is like the first day of school. In addition to learning where you’ll work, where the bathrooms are and where the cafeteria is, you’ll meet people and you should be the person you want to be. I disagree with the metaphor.
If you’ve done your homework and kept in touch with your future supervisor during the transition, you know exactly what is expected of you on the first day. You know what the dress code is, what time to show up and if you are lucky if you need to bring a lunch or not.
As for meeting people, of course first impressions are important, but the people you meet will also want to give the best first impression. I suggest being relaxed and polite and yourself. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t, that approach never works out in the long run.
A successful first day at a new job takes a little planning. Set the alarm a few minutes early, or even a full half hour. Over dress a little. If everyone else in the office is dressed up for your first day, you do not want to be under dressed. Take a few extra moments before you walk out the door to remember that they hired you. You belong there. I don’t suggest being cocky, but simply confidant. When you arrive, be friendly. Make eye contact. Say hello and try to remember everyone’s names. You might be more successful than you thought!
Don’t be afraid to be lost or not know an answer. Ask for directions and ask for help. Everyone in the office has some knowledge that you need, even if it is only where the bathrooms are located.
Relax and above all else, be friendly. Soon you will know the ins and outs of the office. Until then enjoy the opportunities as they arise and use this as a chance to get to know everyone without any preconceived notions.
My comment was that the litmus test that I use when deciding when to follow a PR pro, “social media expert” or other big name on Twitter is, “Would you work with that person in real life?”
I realize, after reading the comments on Jason’s post, that my initial comment may have been taken a bit out of context. There is some background information that would help further explain my personal litmus test.
I first joined Twitter after the urging of several friends. Some of whom are in the PR business and some of who are not. Those that are in the business suggested I check out various Top 100 PR People on Twitter lists. Their advice was to start by following them all and then pare them down based on the relevant information in their tweets. Keep following those that added to my knowledge base and stop following those that didn’t.
Several of the people I followed because they were big names, didn’t add anything for me. Some of them have become close confidants and advisers and I can’t imagine operating without them. I would even go so far as to call some of them friends.
Then there’s the middle ground of people I follow on Twitter because they’re fun and entertaining. While they might not necessarily add value, they make me laugh. I’ll be the first to admit, I follow Sesame Street because the tweets make me happy. Would working every day with Elmo eventually irritate me? Probably.
For me, Kelly Misevich‘s comment on Jason Mollica’s post sums it up, “Social media is all about we, not me. You have to think about your followers and ‘friends’ when you are using social media.”
I see Twitter as a place to learn because I will never know it all, as a place to meet people I might not others have met and to laugh because a day without laughter is the saddest day of all.
As I addressed previously in The Lost Art of the Thank You Note, I strongly believe saying thank you is important. It seems that in the rush to get help and information some young professionals may be forgetting this common courtesy.
If a professional offers you advice, a resume critique or job search assistance, at minimum say thank you. I’m not suggesting you buy them flowers or send chocolates, but I am suggesting you write them a note thanking them for their help and promising to keep them updated on your progress.
While you might view not sending a note as no big deal, the professional person might see it as a slight, which could hurt you in the long run. Besides, don’t you want to be known as that up-and-coming, thoughtful and polite young professional? A thank you note can help you establish that reputation.
And let’s face it, in the ever shrinking professional world, your reputation is what you make it and then how you maintain it.
There seem to be two kinds of offices: those where a goodbye e-mail sent to everyone is acceptable and expected and those where it isn’t. If you have already put in your two weeks notice, you should have a pretty good idea which type of office you are leaving.
I’ve been lucky and have only worked in two places where a goodbye e-mail was expected. I am an advocate of not sending a mass e-mail. I prefer to send individual e-mails and leave hand written notes for specific people. To me, a mass e-mail is tacky and belittles the relationships you’ve created.
Jerry Gamblin agrees with my perspective. “Every time I get an ‘I really enjoyed working here, you guys are great’ it makes me cringe,” he states during our conversation of the topic on Twitter. “I seriously say send emails to the people you worked directly with save the rest of the people something they don’t want. It’s kind of like getting a Christmas Card from someone you barely know. Its nice but you don’t know what to do with it.”
But if you work in an environment where others have sent an office-wide (or department-wide) as they have left and you think it is a good idea, go for it. Use what others have written as a guide and the Google for other examples. The point it to make it short and sweet. If you want to leave your personal contact information, feel free. If you don’t, then only give it to the people you want to have it and make sure you let those people know to keep it confidential.
Kate Canterbury, author of Capturing CoMo, says it depends on the size of the team. “If you work in a group of ten or under I think it would be odd not to send one,” she stated on Twitter.
The bottom line is the choice is yours. No one knows the culture of your office better than you. I’ve reiterated and don’t think I can possible emphasize this anymore, but no matter what you decide be professional. If you e-mail the entire company or department, this is the final thing your co-workers will remember you by.
I’m interested in hearing how others and other offices handle the farewell letter. Thoughts?