As professionals we are expected to look, act, and dress and speak in a certain manner. While that is to be anticipated from nine to five, what about when you still want to have a life outside of the office? This is a line we all must balance – how do we still have lives outside of the workplace without bordering unprofessional territory and embarrassing ourselves and potentially our employers?
There’s no doubt this balancing act will continue throughout your entire working career, but we wanted to share some of the best tips we have picked up along the way.
Best tips for being a professional in the workplace
- While it is important to be professional in the workplace that doesn’t mean you can’t create an environment that supports good humor, encourages optimism and works to motivate. Don’t be afraid to spend five minutes asking your co-worker how their weekend was or how the big date went.
- Share kudos with your team when a teammate does a standout job. Being recognized for an accomplishment or achievement gives the team member an extra confidence booster and fosters an even more productive environment.
- This may sound like common sense, but remember why you are at the company and the job you were hired to do. From the time your day starts till it ends, you are expected to act as the consummate professional your employer saw in the interview
Best Tips for being a professional outside of the office
- At the office happy hour or holiday party know your limits. You can still have fun and consume an alcoholic beverage or two, but be sure not to overdo it – you don’t want to be intoxicated at a work function.
- Don’t engage in office gossip. Whether you are sitting in your office or out for drinks with a co-worker, office gossip is never a good idea. It creates a negative and hostile work environment that will only lead to negative consequences for all parties.
- Still dress the part. Even though it may be an after-hours event or function, you still need to dress appropriately. Low neck-lines, short skirts, offensive t-shirts, while possibly appropriate for the venue, are not professional to wear to a work event.
How do you maintain a professional decorum while still having fun?