New Job Etiquette

New Job Etiquette
Bill Lindsey
When starting a new job, first impressions are important, so let’s review a few basics to make sure you shine like a star. These are also applicable to long-term employees, too.


Even if you are naturally shy, make sure to smile at others as you are introduced and when you see them in the office or breakroom. We all subconsciously judge others, with a smile sending a positive signal. There’s no need to be BFFs with your coworkers, but you do need to be pleasant and polite; an aloof attitude can create the impression that you are rude.

Be On Time

On Day One and every day thereafter, arrive on time. It’s better to arrive a little bit early than to show up even 15 minutes late; use two alarms if you tend to oversleep. To make sure you arrive on time, keep your car gassed up and ready to go, or allow an extra 10 minutes to get to the subway or bus stop.

Listen Up

Show respect as coworkers demonstrate how to perform tasks, resisting the urge to say, “Yeah, but this is how we did it at ...” which only makes you look pompous. Being confident about your skills is good, but by listening, you just might learn something useful and new. Being gracious will win you more support and make you better liked than coming across as a bit of a know-it-all.

Take Notes

The first day and many that follow can be overwhelming as you try to keep up with a constant flow of new information and procedures. Rather than try to remember it all, which rarely works as well as planned, consider using a small notepad to make notes so you can refer to them later if you don’t fully recall how to do something. Your boss will be impressed.

Do the Paperwork

Filling out forms is boring, but it is important to make sure you get paid and take advantage of any health insurance or other benefits offered by your employer. Make sure to be polite to the HR person; they can be a lifesaver if you have problems, so show them respect. On a related note, pay attention to basic policies such as where to park to ensure you avoid inadvertent mistakes.
Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.
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