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10 Things Respectable Colleagues Don’t Do In The Office

10 Things Respectable Colleagues Don’t Do In The Office

Office life has a very special environment. It has its rules, norms and peculiarities. Gaining respect at work requires not only being good at what you do, but also knowing how to behave, how to communicate with people and what not to do. Respectful people tend to do much better at their job, have good relationships with everyone around and feel good at work. Here is the list of some things they don’t do to be respectable.

They don’t lie

If respectable colleagues promise to come to work half an hour earlier, they do so. If they say they’ll back up a sick colleague, they do just that. If they claim they’ll finish this task by 5pm, the task is finished by this time.

We all lie. Some people lie more, some less. Getting rid of this habit at all seems impossible as it would be very hard to live in this world. However, don’t forget that at work you are responsible not only for yourself, but also for your colleagues. Try to be sincere and if you cannot do something or don’t have time for it, better say so.

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They don’t complain

Jack got complimented for his work and you didn’t, although you achieved the same results. Melissa got a promotion and you didn’t, although you think you work as hard as she. Kathy has been leaving the office two hours earlier for a month and she has the same salary as you.

Never complain about those things to your colleagues and especially to your boss. First of all, remember that complaining is the prerogative of weak people.  Second of all, you never know all the details about other people’s lives. Maybe Kathy’s kid is seriously sick and Melissa presented some great project she never talked about.

Instead of useless complaints, turn that indignation into positive energy: try to work harder and show that you don’t only spend time in the office, but are interested in your job. In this case, you’ll be much more respected by your colleagues and boss.

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They don’t talk too much

Having friends at work is great. It is very nice to talk to someone at lunch and laugh a bit. However, sharing the details of your personal life with everyone at work is not a very smart move. Imagine someone else telling you about a two hour fight with a spouse. You don’t want to hear that, do you? So don’t make other people listen about your personal problems.

They don’t talk too little

Here is the opposite situation: there is a colleague that never talks to people apart from work related questions. It is also not good and definitely not very respectful. Truly respectable colleagues always do small talks asking you how your daughter is, how you like the weather or whether you watched the game last night. Over sharing is bad, but not talking to colleagues at all is also not a way to gain trust and respect.

They don’t date their colleagues

Is there a guy or a girl at your work that always flirts with every new secretary and never misses an opportunity to go on a date with a colleague? How much respect do you have for them? That’s right. Dating a colleague is not very professional and always causes gossiping and sometimes disrespect. You will be even more disrespected if you have an affair at work while being married. Of course, there are situations when people fall in love at work and then get married, but these are exceptions.

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They don’t behave unprofessionally

Respectful colleagues are always very professional at work; they know the boundaries. They don’t tell rude jokes, they don’t talk about your religion, financial state or other personal things, they don’t get drunk at corporate parties and they don’t dress too casual to work. There are norms and unspoken rules that you should follow to be respected.

They don’t have truly annoying habits at work

Does someone always eat loudly at the computer? Is someone constantly talking on the phone about their personal problems? Does a colleague next to you have a weirdly restless leg? Is someone it your office always cold and insists on keeping all the windows shot even in summer? Is your colleague listens to music very loudly or even sings along? All those things can be utterly annoying especially if you see, hear or smell them every day. Try not to become one of those people with irritating work habits.

They don’t blame others

People will definitely not respect you if you cannot admit your mistakes and always blame someone else. Throwing your colleagues under the bus won’t make you a better worker because the truth will come out and you will be not only disrespected, but also hated by everyone around. Be a bigger person and say that you’ve made a mistake and you want to fix it now.

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They aren’t too active

Let’s all dress in green on the St. Patrick’s Day! Let’s make the Eiffel Tower with the paper clips! Let’s play volleyball with crumpled paper! Let’s celebrate Jack’s birthday on the roof! In every office, there are some overly initiative people who try too hard to bring the team closer. Team-building is a great thing, but if you overdo it, you’ll probably just annoy your colleagues.

They don’t look down on everyone

Good colleagues don’t look down on people because they have more working experience, they are older or because they’ve worked for this company longer. They don’t try to teach other people “valuable lessons” and they don’t patronize. If they are asked for help, they’ll help. But they wouldn’t try to show that they are smarter every time they have an opportunity.

Featured photo credit: Business men/markus spiske via flickr.com

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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