Your first day at work can be scary. You have to adjust to many things. You need to learn how to deal with co-workers and clients. You also need to do your job well.
Don’t worry! It becomes easier with time. Knowing these 10 tips can help you:
- Being on time is important because:
- time is money
- it shows respect
- Being punctual means:
- being at work 10-15 minutes before your time (or a meeting).
- If you cannot avoid being late:
- call to say that you will be late by 5-10 minutes
- apologize and give a good reason
- do your best not to be late again
Never stop learning the language.Speak English as often as you can. Practice makes perfect!
- You need English to communicate well in the workplace.
- Get used to how your co-workers speak.
- how they pronounce words
- how fast they talk
- what idioms they use
- Canadians are polite and respectful.
- They say things indirectly.
- They will say: “how are you?” to start a conversation.
- Answer with “I’m good/I’m fine, thank you”. Ask them how they are as well.
- In a conversation, remember to:
- have good eye contact
- pay attention and listen well
- ask them to repeat what was said if you did not understand the first time
- ask politely
- say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate
- Listen and participate.
- Bring a note pad. Write down important points. It shows that you are engaged and listening.
- ask questions (make sure that they are relevant).
- share your ideas
- disagree but be tactful when saying it. Be sensitive.
- do not interrupt when someone is talking
- wait for your turn to speak.
- Put your phone on silent mode. Don’t answer a call unless urgent.
- Jargon are words that are used in your field. They can be technical terms.
- Use jargon when appropriate.
- Eye contact is important.
- Shake hands firmly when meeting people. This shows respect.
- Don’t cross your arms across your chest when speaking to someone. You will look unfriendly.
- Fidgeting and slouching shows that you are bored. This is impolite.
- Smile! It shows that you are open and approachable.
Don’t talk about:
- Small talk is light conversation with your co-workers. It is done usually before starting the work day or during breaks.
- Talk about:
- the weather
- current events
Don’t gossip or complain, especially about the boss. Read 5 big ideas for better small talk.
- married/love life
- any topic that is too personal
- Observe proper distance when talking to someone.
- It is safe keeping at least two feet of space (or an arm’s length).
- Order is expected in all workplaces.
- Avoid shouting or talking loudly. Do not disturb your co-workers.
Don’t use “ma’am” or “sir”, or “madam”. These are too formal. They are not used in the workplace.
- Status is not a priority.
- Respect is given to everyone equally in the workplace.
- Seniors and bosses may be addressed by their first names.
- When meeting someone for the first time:
- address them by Mr., Ms. or professional titles like Dr. or Professor
- wait until they ask to be addressed by their first names
Don’t expect your boss to tell you what to do.Work independently with minimum supervision.
- Do your own job well. But help your team succeed.
- Help whenever needed. Do more than your job description.
- The most important values at work are:
- continuous learning
- openness to change
- positive attitude
Initiative and accountability
- Be proactive at work.
- Think of ways that will make your work better and more efficient.
- Don’t wait to be told what to do. Don’t ask before you do a task that is part of your job.
- Always meet your deadlines. It is a serious commitment.
- Learn to under promise and over deliver.
- Dress is informal to casual in most offices.
- Dress simply and neatly. Don’t forget to dress appropriately for the weather!
- People who work in banks or law offices are expected to wear formal business attire.
- Ask the HR if this is not clear to you.
- See if your workplace has a “scent-free environment” policy. This means that no one is allowed to wear perfume or scented products. Some may have environmental sensitivities or allergies.
- Canadians value a safe and clean work environment.
- Keep your work area orderly. Help maintain cleanliness.
- Observe safety rules and regulations.
- Follow safety rules strictly especially if you work in a high-risk work place (e.g. construction site or laboratory).
- Workplaces have safety and emergency guidelines. Know them.
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