Professional etiquette is the unwritten code of conduct people are expected to follow in the workplace and at professional events. As a Haverford student, you likely already follow most, if not all of these just by adhering to the Honor Code. However, it never hurts to brush up to make sure you’re making good impressions. Here are seven rules that should live by in any professional setting:
1. Be on time.
You know the phrase “If you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late”? Follow it! Havertime doesn’t apply anywhere besides in class on campus.
Just because nobody explicitly told you to show up dressed professionally, doesn’t mean you should come in sweats and flip-flops. If you are going to work or a professional event, even those on campus, you should do your best to dress appropriately. It shows that you care. If you don’t have professional clothes, contact the CCPA and we can help you find something temporary from our Career Closet or direct you towards where you can find inexpensive permanent items.
Don’t use your work computer, email, calendar, and/or other accounts for personal activities. When you’re at work, you should be doing work-related activities. The same goes for office conversation. It is fine to be open and talk about yourself in the workplace, but be careful not to overshare!
Never post negative content about an employer, manager, or colleague online, even if you have a private account. There is no such thing as anonymity online and posting disrespectful or inappropriate content can lead to termination at worst or a bad reputation at best. It is best to keep all your content positive and professional so that even if your private accounts were accessed, no relationships would be harmed.
When emailing anyone, don’t use abbreviations or emojis like you might use when texting. It may be faster or just how you’re used to typing, but it will be received as immature.
You may find that in meetings others, maybe even your boss, have their phones out. This does not mean that you should feel free to text or check your notifications. Only paying partial attention is disrespectful and unprofessional.
Whenever anyone takes time out of their day to do something for you, it is critical that you acknowledge this and thank them. This goes for events on campus as well as in the workplace. A timely email is usually sufficient, but if this person went above and beyond, a hand-written letter can make a lasting good impression.
Have questions about professional etiquette? Drop by Stokes 300 for a 15-minute walk-in advising session, Mon-Fri between 2:30 and 4:30!