Trainer’s Tips #12: Etiquette
By Sarah Alspaw, Assistant Director of Career Services and Graduate Student Support
We are going to stray a little bit off theme this month from our usual sports metaphor to talk about something that is VERY important for job seekers, new professionals, and even (perhpas especially) for seasoned professionals.
Etiquette is not restricted to knowing which fork to eat with or opening the door of the person entering behind you. There are many ‘unwritten rules’ of how to conduct yourself, how to interact with your coworkers, and how to react in particular situations.
We are going to cover just a few today, which will not even begin to scratch the surface. Often you are going to just have to watch and learn from your colleagues. Very few of these professional etiquette rules are spelled out for you.
Some seem to contradict things you may have been told to do growing up. For example, it is never appropriate to pull the chair out for a colleague at a meal. Also, it is never appropriate to treat genders differently, by allowing women to walk through a door first, or by refusing to walk through a door being held by a woman.
At Capitol, we are extremely flexible when it comes to scheduling meetings. We strive to make it very easy for you to see us; a majority of the time you can just walk in and see an advisor, financial aid consultant, or account managers in the business office without an appointment. However, this is not going to be the case with your colleagues or supervisor. You will need to schedule appointments and meetings in advance, make sure to arrive on time (not too early or late), and cancel appointments with at least 24 hours notice.
In a professional setting, it is rarely appropriate to be emotional or act emotionally. You should act pleasant towards all coworkers, no matter however you feel about a particular employee. When receiving feedback or criticism from your supervisor, you should not get defensive or try to argue. Lastly, it is important to separate your personal and work lives as much as possible.
Keep an eye out for additional upcoming blogs with more information about professional etiquette.
If you are a senior, you can register for the Fall Senior Etiquette event on September 27th from 11am-1pm. This will take place during the Career Conference, and attending students will be provided with a catered meal. To register/RSVP, please fill out this form by September 19: http://goo.gl/forms/WEwJQPsRPkP1aQEx2