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How to Keep a Job
It’s not fair to be
judged competent by style of dress. However, even though the job may be a
difficult one, customers will judge a person as having little or no
authority or peers will see a person as less capable than others, if not
dressed the part.
The type of dress
will depend on the position, but the key is to be neat, well-groomed, clean
in appearance, and exhibit good hygiene.
There may be a
written dress code; but depending on the company, dress could become more
relaxed on the job.
Look around to see
what other people are wearing, but be sure and pick a role model who is well
If desiring a
promotion, dress one level higher than what current position calls for.
Remember, the company
will not adapt to suit the employee . . . the employee will have to adapt to
suit the company.
All companies have
written and unwritten rules:
Finding out about the
written rules is easy . . . employees should receive an employee handbook.
is not received, then ask if a handbook can be made available. Next, read
Ask to see an
organizational chart to learn where each employee stands in the company and
who is above and below them. Employees who
make themselves known in the company can assist them in moving up the
unwritten rules are a little tougher to figure out, but not impossible. The
key is to watch what goes on around the company.
Find out the answers
to some of these questions:
Do coworkers eat
or drink at their desk?
smoke on the premises?
accept and make personal telephone calls?
Is it permitted
to just walk into another coworker’s office or is an appointment needed?
Emulate the actions
of those employees who are well respected.
Just because several
others in the office take an hour and a half lunch break, does not mean that
every employee should follow their lead. Chances are these people are not
getting away with anything and the boss will recognize that when promotion
time rolls around.
For introductions, keep in mind one rule: name the
person desiring to be given the greater
courtesy to first.
Include any titles
such as Doctor, Governor; plus their affiliation, such as York Technical
Listed below are some
When introducing a younger person to an
older person, name the older person first.
a man and a woman in a casual setting, name the woman first.
a man and a woman in a business setting, name the person with the
greater authority first.
two employees in the same company, name the person with the greater
When introducing a customer/visitor to
someone in your company, name the visitor first.
an individual to a group, name the individual first. Self-introductions
will probably follow, but if that is not the case, then name each
person in the group.
Stand when being introduced, as a sign of
HOW TO ADDRESS OTHERS
When addressing a superior, use Mr.
Smith, Miss Jones, Ms. Brown, Mrs. Anderson, or
Moore until instructed by this authority
figure to call them by their first name.
Peers will also indicate what they prefer
to be called.
refers to both an unmarried or married woman and this is safe to use when
the marital status is unknown.
A handshake is a good way to break down
barriers. Whether male or female, extend a
hand to another male or female, whether walking into an interview
or meeting a new customer or employee on the job.
The handshake should be a firm grip . . . a
limp handshake or a bone crusher is a real turn off.
The handshake should be web-to-web.
The handshake is a non-verbal sign of
Remember, sweaty palms don’t make a good
Once graduated and employment is secured,
keep in mind that learning never stops.
A person becomes stagnant if doing the same
thing the same way for years to come.
If the company offers to pay for courses
to advance employees’ skills, take
advantage of these opportunities. This shows initiative and it may elevate a
person on the list of candidates to be promoted.
If in-house programs/seminars are offered,
be sure to participate. This is a way to get noticed.
Networking outside of the organization is
also important in order to keep a person’s name in front of others. Join
clubs or professional organizations to meet others who could advance a
person’s career. A person will be glad to have made these contacts, if
rumors are heard of layoffs or company closings at the employee’s own
Be prepared – always have paper and pencil
within easy reach.
Answer the telephone promptly.
When talking on the telephone, make an
effort to smile – this will portray friendliness and pleasantness.
Take messages carefully.
Do not record “cute” messages on answering
machine – it should be professional and businesslike.
Telephone calls should be returned within
Ask permission before putting someone on
Do not hold a conversation with someone
else while talking on the telephone.
Immediately make introductions when calling
someone, and explain the reason for the call.
Do not eat, drink, smoke, type, or file
papers while talking on the telephone.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
The majority of workers are terminated
because they cannot get along with others and they do not possess the proper
The following are signs of a good attitude
and may help increase chances for success and promotion in the workplace:
attendance records; arrive to work on time; and never abuse lunch and
Always try to improve
work by organizing materials; keeping work area clean; utilizing time
efficiently; trying to work quickly yet accurately; being able to work
well under pressure; and making sure assignments or projects are turned
in on time.
Learn to listen without
interruption, particularly if instructions are being given – and learn
to follow instructions but don’t be afraid to ask questions if something
is not understood.
Get important things in
writing – don’t rely on what other people have said.
Do not give orders to
others unless possessing the authority to do so . . . coworkers don’t
appreciate a bossy attitude.
Always practice good
communication skills and professional telephone courtesy.
Learn to accept
criticism and learn from mistakes; don’t hold grudges; be a good loser;
and do not display a bad attitude when ideas are not utilized.
and do not “pass the buck.”
Show good judgment;
maintain confidentiality; think over a response before being blunt or
harsh; and practice patience.
If not able to say
something nice, don’t say anything at all; do not be a gossip, the
bearer of bad news, or join the “rumor mill”; do not get involved in the
arguments of others – personal involvement may not be appreciated as much
as someone thinks.
Always show consistent
businesslike attitude with coworkers and superiors; treat internal
customers with as much respect as external customers.
It is important to
always give outstanding customer service.
Respect people for their
good qualities, even though they may have faults. Find the good in
Don’t be a
“know-it-all;” respect the ideas of others, and acknowledge their merit;
and always give a “thank you” to those who have helped out.
sincerity; coworkers like being around a positive, happy person; be
helpful to others; and keep promises.
Don’t be a “clock
Know and follow company
rules and regulations.
Show pride in work and
always keep a positive attitude.
Practice the golden rule
– be considerate of others.
Pay attention to dress,
hygiene, body language, and manners.
Try to save the company
money by conserving materials and supplies.