This is what I have come up with so far.
1. How not to backstab and gossip your way to the top because it is so hard to always look over your shoulder. This is the first cardinal rule as it determines how others perceive you and how they will treat you. If they know that you talk a lot, they might not want you to stick around.
2. How not to lie your way through situations and how to always take responsibility; because if you don’t someone will blame you first. If you make a mistake, admit it immediately so you don’t end up looking like a fool. You might still end up looking like a fool anyway, but at least you will seem like a slightly more responsible fool.
3. How to treat others as you would want to be treated- you never know who might be talking about you and it’s always nice to have a friend in your corner. That means if people ask about you, tell them what they need to know and nothing else. Try to be friendly but not too familiar. If they want to tell you about themselves, let them. But when they want to tell you about someone else that you may or may not know, walk away. Literally walk away.
4. How we are all just grown children and the term ‘adult’ does not actually have a meaning. Therefore, don’t take anyone too seriously. If they act irrationally- humour them and let them have their way. You are not being a fool- you are being the bigger person and letting them act like the child that they are.
5. How to always cover my tracks because someone is always watching. Don’t go on social media or anything that is not related to your work. Use your phone sparingly. And if you do do any of these things, make sure you don’t get caught.
6. You thought you had seen or read it all but there is always something that will surprise you. Be prepared for that.
7. If it’s not your money, don’t spend it anyhow. Enough said.
8. If family or friends visit, limit your conversation and make them wait for you. You want to seem as deeply committed to your work as possible. This goes along with talking to a colleague that sits across from you or is close to you. Don’t spend endless minutes talking with them. The work might be boring or there might be no work at all, but you are still getting paid for it and so try to look as if you are actually doing it.
9. Don’t go for too many coffee or toilet breaks (not more than 3 during the day excluding lunch time). Lunch should be the designated time you have been given- do not go over and above that and try not to go below that- this is break time and a break you should have.
10. The customer is always right- even when they are not. Customer service is most important and every company serves a customer of some sort. Don’t let the customer see all your nonsense or that of the company’s. If they act irrationally- refer to point 4 above. Don’t let them walk all over you but don’t give them attitude either. At the end of the day, your company and your pay depend on how you treat the customer.
11. Try to have some initiative and come up with new ideas as to how to improve your work. This makes you look like a top asset and shows that you are committed to your work. Even if your ideas are rubbish, the very fact that you are thinking and using your noodle, makes you seem like more of an asset.
12. Always be punctual. Tardiness is unprofessional and makes you look like uncommitted. Whether its 2 minutes or 5 minutes. If you are going to be late- don’t. But if you have no choice, make sure that you have the number of someone higher up that you can tell that you are running late.
13. Especially if it is your first job, there will be times when you have no idea what you are doing and you will make a lot of mistakes. There will also be times when you will wonder- are they regretting hiring me for the job? Do I know what I’m doing? Do I really want this? Help! All these thoughts will be running through your mind as you try to learn the ropes. Don’t worry – no one was born knowing what to do and if they say they did they are lying to you and themselves. A friend told me about a saying that she heard- fake it until know it. That means pretend that you know what you are doing until you do. And if you don’t and never will know what you are doing, I suggest you look for something else to do.
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