Professional etiquette

Rujuta Joshi

Getting a job is one of the most happiest moment in our life, the feeling of being able to provide our ourselves and be independent is overwhelming , but imagine your first day you go into your job all happy and ready for new challenges , but you see a different environment there than you had imagined. You don’t know how to fit in. everything and everyone here is very formal and businesslike and you have never experienced such environment you don’t know how to act or behave and in a fraction of a second you turn nervous and frustrated. To avoid such an embarrassing situation it is better to brush up on your professional etiquette skills before going for the job. Here are few tips and tricks that might help you –

  1. Introduce yourself properly

Whenever you meet someone new, your boss or the HR or the person who is to hire you, make sure you say your full name while introducing yourself. Say you are presenting something in front of potential buyers, first introduce yourself properly with confidence and then proceed. A good introduction makes a mark on the client and your name will linger in their mind for a long time. As you know first impression is very important so ace it and you it will add to your professional status.

  1. A proper handshake 

After you introduce yourself, you shake hands with the other person , though it seems a simple task there are few things you need to keep in mind while doing so-

  • If you are the host or the higher ranking person extend your hand first.
  • Don’t make the handshake too short or it seems disrespectful or too long which seems creepy or weird. 3-4 seconds of handshake is enough.
  • Don’t have a forceful grip. This is not a contest to show your strength.
  • Don’t be too limp also. In old days it was old to men to use a gentle handshake with women while women were told to not grasp the hand tightly as it might show masculinity, but nowadays both are frowned upon. Have a proper handshake not to hard not to limp regardless of the gender. You can even practice it beforehand.
  1. Your outfit matters , a lot –

When you enter any meeting or conference the first thing they will see is you and what you are wearing. Though there are not many strict policies now days on what to wear in an office but it matters especially when you have an important meeting and potential clients are coming. Make sure whatever you are wearing falls in the dress code of the event or the meeting. Avoid wearing casual wear you can instead go for a classic look or a casual classic look.

  1. Social media etiquette-

Twitter, face book instagram are famous for sharing news – good or bad. Remember that if anyone from your workplace is following you on any of your social media platform than post appropriate content. Don’t post anything negative about your company, colleagues or boss. News spread like wildfire and it can make or break your career. Some information can be sensitive so think twice before posting anything.

  1. Write thank you notes wherever you seem necessary-

After an interview or a good business meeting with higher officers feel free to send them thank you note, telling them how grateful you are that they gave their time to you and that you will be waiting to hear from them soon. It adds a personal touch and your name will remain in the back of their mind. You can also send an email instead of a note if you think it will reach them faster. Make sure to send the note in next 24 hrs and no later.

  1. Don’t pull out chair for someone else-

Your office is not a place to follow the gender rules. Men and women can pull out their chair for they you need not do anything. Just enter, greet everyone properly and take you seat; there is no need for such formalities.

  1. Keep your phone silent

A phone ringing in the middle of a meeting is one of the most annoying and unprofessional thing you can do. Always put your phone away during important meetings and interviews. If it is urgent ask your assistant to answer for you or turn on voicemail. Answering a phone in between the meeting looks like you are not interested in what is going on and not redeem it important so always turn off your phone during important moments.

  1. Have proper posture

Sitting cross-legged and slouched is okay at your home but in your office you have to maintain a proper posture. Sit straight your legs both on the ground and focusing on your work. Especially in meetings sitting one leg atop other makes you look careless and bossy so avoid doing so.

  1. Have proper dining etiquette-

Dining with a client or your boss is very different than dining with your friends and family.  You have to maintain a level of manners around them how you dine and act during a meal tells a lot about you to the other person. 

  • Before going have a light snack that way you won’t be completely distracted by your food and won’t rush anything. You will not be feeling much hungry and will be able to talk about business.
  • Your bags and other personal belongings like glasses, phone etc should not be kept on the table. Stuff them inside your bag and put them under your table or hang them behind your chair. Find a coat hanger and hang your coat in t. but never put anything on the table.
  • Don’t rush to sit. Let the host or the old or the senior most people sit first and then get seated.
  • Know your table manners, which fork goes where and what to use when.
  1. Show professionalism 

People get confused in how to act in office and how to talk to their seniors. If you have anything urgent to say to your boss don’t just barge in, knock first and then enter, the doors are closed for a reason.

  • Every office has some rules even the most lenient one. Know and memorize these rules beforehand. Follow them strictly to avoid any conflict of any kind. Many workers don’t pay attention to such rules and even if they don’t know the superiors always notice. Following rules that people generally ignore will make you rise in the eyes of your boss.
  • Do not gossip. It is a very tempting thing to do but always abstain from it. If you find something negative in a colleague discuss it with them directly that too politely instead of telling the whole office about it.

Your mannerism in the office might look like a small subject to you, you might not consider it important but it is one of the most important traits that you help you in the long way. It gets you bonus points in the eye of your colleagues and superiors. After all who does not like a well behaved person? Your professional etiquette will always help you climb up the success ladder.


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