5 things that make you look unprofessional at your first job
So you’ve made it past the interviews, gotten an offer and had a good start to your first new job! Congratulations!
While your bosses and colleagues may be ecstatic with your presence now, will that last forever? Will your habits come off as unprofessional and slowly turn your new colleagues against you? It could potentially lead you to leaving your first job just as fast as you joined.
Research from Monster.com in Malaysia dove into the expectations and challenges of fresh graduates looking for their first job. You can read more about the findings here.
Below are some things that any working professional must strive to avoid:
Many companies are striving to provide a good work-life balance and a relaxed working atmosphere for their employees. Although it’s much more common for employees to arrive at work after 9am, you shouldn’t overstretch your luck.
It might be ok to come 5 minutes late to a meeting, but if you keep that up your colleagues may start seeing you as someone who can’t be counted on. Being late can have a knock-on effect on the rest of the workday, making it difficult for others to complete their work or get to other meetings. As a wise person once said, “If you’re on time, you’re already late.”
Hitting your targets, securing that big deal or getting a promotion are things that one should certainly celebrate. There is, however, a fine line with being proud of your achievements and showing off.
It’s better to avoid telling every person in the office about it, bringing it up in every conversation or asking your colleagues about their successes for comparison. That way, whenever you have a big professional win, your colleagues will be happy for you, not dreading the moment you walk in the room.
Make some noise! And no, we don’t mean by constantly playing music or having loud conversations with everyone who walks by. Being quiet at every opportunity could come off badly and lead your colleagues to think you are disengaged with your work and your team.
Make sure you voice your opinions about your work and your career. If you feel that training may not be adequate or if you feel there is no room for advancement in your role, make sure you bring it up with your company. This may seem like a no-brainer, but more than a third of young Malaysians end up quitting their first jobs in less than a year, naming a lack of growth opportunities as the key reason!
Sure, you may have your own desk, but large piles of unorganised documents, books and used crockery is unhygienic and incredibly insightly for everyone else in the office. Not only do people not want to have to see or deal with this, it can give you an appearance that you are sloppy in other areas of your life - namely your work!
Try to make it a point to clear your desk immediately when you have any finished food and aim to clear your desk of documents at the end of the week. Not only will this make it easier for you to have a cleaner desk, the extra space will be a welcome addition to your workspace! A clear desk is a clear mind!
Having a negative outlook
Difficult clients, ridiculous timelines, seemingly impossible projects and tedious work can be a downer for anybody, but letting this mood spillover into your daily attitude is a major no-no. Having a negative outlook on everything can make you seem hostile towards your colleagues who will start avoiding you.
Being negative can also be contagious for the people around you, having a huge impact on the working environment and office culture. No matter how hard the day may be, do your best to keep a positive attitude and you will become a beacon of hope for your team, not a crutch.