When my firstborn started his job last year, I wrote this for him. I think you can’t go wrong to apply these ‘rules’ in any working environment!
1. Always say good morning and always smile when you walk into the office, no matter how bad you feel or how bad your morning has started (or how bad your previous night has been.) This goes for your boss too! 2. Always offer to make coffee first. You never know when you will need a favour. 3. Never get too familiar with your boss. He or she is your manager, not your friend. (If they are your friend, tread carefully…) 4. Do not bring your personal problems to work. Ever. 5. Smell nice, brush your teeth, comb your hair and dress up. You are your own best advertisement. 6. Never, ever, ever come late for work. Ever. And always do more than what is expected of you. 7. Do not be a clock-watcher but instead do your utmost best to give your employer what they pay you for. Hopefully they will pay you what you are worth to them. 8. Work late occasionally without being asked to. It shows that you’re dedicated, that you are interested in the well-being of the company and that you can be depended on. All attributes that employers look at when it’s time for a promotion or a bonus. 9. Be nice to your colleagues. Yes, even the rude and grumpy ones. Friendliness costs nothing and you don’t know what another person is going through. Remember: Everyone has a story. 10. Do not swear, chew gum, talk with food in your mouth, take smoke breaks or talk incessantly on your cellphone at work. The same goes for crude jokes, insensitive remarks about fat people or gender or race discrimination. It’s just not on. 11. Don’t date colleagues, or even worse, your boss (or your boss’ children!) or other managers. Just don’t. 12. Don’t take other people’s food in the fridge and don’t use the last drop of milk without replacing the carton. Always fill up the kettle or coffee machine when you are done. And don’t eat smelly food in an open office. It’s basic good manners. 13. Keep your personal phone calls and emails to a minimum during work hours. Hopefully you get tea breaks and a lunch break to do that. If you don’t, do something about it. (You are however, allowed to keep give your mom an update once in a blue moon about how things are going at work.) 14. Yes, the IT department can indeed see every website you visit. Yes, every single one. 15. Yes, there are cameras everywhere – and here I refer specifically to point 11… 16. Do go through the trouble to find out when your immediate colleague’s birthdays are and get them a small present just as a thoughtful gesture. Trust me, sometimes something small makes a big difference when you least expect it. 17. Greet every single person you see every single day during the course of your work – yes, especially the cleaners and the tea lady (if you are lucky to have one) as well as any guests that may visit the company. 18. Keep your desk and office neat and tidy. You might have been a semi-slob at home, but this is not your home, it is work. Tidy up! 19. Do not be loud or obnoxious or both. Be humble and kind and friendly. And hold the elevator for other people! Believe me, you will thank me later. 20. Always do your utter best to be the best person you can be at work – both professionally and personally. 21. Your email, text messages and intranet conversations reflect on your character and integrity, don’t forget it. Be kind, friendly and courteous – even if it’s ‘just’ on “paper”.. 22. Do not gossip. Just don’t. Ever. 23. Do not discuss religion, politics, rugby/soccer teams or any other sensitive issues at work. 24. Facebook is not part of your job description. Neither is personal WhatsApps, Twitter, Instagram, your personal emails or your boyfriend/girlfriend. 25. You are the architect of your own work life – good or bad. Think carefully before you design and even more carefully before you build.