You got the job!
Here’s how you keep it.
So you’ve finally got your long-awaited “grown-up” job and your first day is looming. Like many recent grads, you might be wondering how to fit into your new office and whether there are any unwritten rules you don’t know.
If that sounds like you, you’re right!
Working in an office comes with a huge variety of professional norms that you have no way of knowing until someone thinks to tell you. We want you to feel as prepared as possible, so here are a few important things to remember.
Communication is key
- It can be tempting but avoid swearing and gossiping. Instead of focusing on the problem, try to be the person with a solution.
- Don’t use emoji or excessive exclamation points in emails. Set the tone by being polite and straightforward.
- When emailing, shorter is better! Lay out your information in a short, easy to understand manner without excessive details.
- When you’re on the phone, give the call your full attention. Avoid sending emails or scanning through documents while having a conversation.
- If you make a mistake, own up to it. No matter how big or small the mistake it always looks better to admit you did something wrong than to try and hide it.
Dress your best
- Offices run the gamut of casual to business professional dress codes and it’s important to match your clothing to the dress code. If you don’t know what the dress code for your new office is, opt for a layered business professional look. You can always dress it down by taking off a blazer or sweater if you find that you are too dressy.
- Regardless of the level of formality, clothes should always be clean, unwrinkled, and dander-free. Your undergarments should not be visible in any way.
- Keep up on basic hygiene and make sure your clothes and body are odor-free. Perfume/cologne should be very minimal or not worn at all.
- If you’re not sure, lean more conservative with your clothing. You can always adjust once you get a better sense of what is normal for your office.
- Keep your phone tucked away in your bag or desk. Your personal cell phone is for use on your personal time. Never take it out during meetings and avoid using it at your desk.
- Office supplies are for office use only, don’t give in to the temptation to bring things home.
- Ask questions. Whether you are confused or just want more detail, most managers want you to show interest in your work and have all the correct information, they won’t mind your asking.
- Take charge of your own learning. When you’re training or asking questions, be sure to take notes. Your supervisor and co-workers will expect that you are taking ownership of your learning and won’t want to explain things more than once or twice.
- Keep your space neat, even if you don’t mind a cluttered desk. For better or worse, appearance matters in how people view you and the work you do.
- Being on time and prepared for work and meetings is one of many ways of showing your respect for your colleagues. Even being 5 minutes late can signal that you don’t care about wasting others’ time.
Sick days and vacations
- During your Career-to-Launch or Elite program, you should plan to be at work every day. Remember, this is a trial period for both you and your employer. Being physically present is important both to learn the job and to show that you are happy to be there.
- If you need to take a sick day, it happens! Make sure you call both your on-site manager and your account manager at Katapult to let us know you’ll be out.
- There may be times when you have a bit of a cold but are not sick enough to stay home. Your co-workers will appreciate any effort you make to keep your germs from spreading. Help them out by using tissues and hand-sanitizer. Don’t be afraid to turn down a handshake–most people will appreciate it if you abstain from shaking hands while you are sick.
Landing the job means your new boss thinks you’ll be a great fit for their team. Now it’s up to you to prove them right, and we’re here to help you do that.
Have questions? Your account manager and the entire team at Katapult can answer any questions you have so don’t be afraid to reach out!