The 7 rules of being an adult at work

When you have been part of an organisation long enough to feel as if it was an extension of home or when you´ve just joined one after school and are starting to feel at one with its culture; your attention can slip and the professional persona of the initial interviews- vanish. But take note: getting comfortable is one, but being immature could really change the way people perceive you, and affect your reputation and success. So here are 7 take-aways to ensure just the opposite.

being a better professional

1. Dress appropriately

We spoke about this topic in this previous post, but this is really crucial. The key is to stay professional whilst adapting to your environment. Too corporate or too tech-scene could send the wrong signal. But above all, even when comfortable at your office, work isn´t a fashion show. Keep the fun nails, the short skirts, the fashionable statements and other overwhelming bling to your weekends. We all judge based on appearances. Who are we fooling.

2. Show up on time

And that means before your boss. And that means on Mondays too. Yes people tend to be flexible with this one, but don´t follow the herd and show up as per contractual time. You will gain so much respect for doing so.

3. Don´t entertain gossips

Gossips provide a false sense of community, of understanding or support. But entertaining gossip won´t help you make friends and will really create prejudice on the long term. Stay away from politics, don´t take side and stay professional.

4. Be resilient

I mean take my word for it! Changes and failures do make you a fuller and wiser person. When bumps present themselves, don´t let them get you down. Adults can see beyond the bumps and look at the big picture of their career. So take the high road, chin-up and grow resilience. 

5. Remind yourself of your position

In 99% of situations you will be the subordinate to someone else. And reminding yourself of your place will help you immensely. You might be bright, ambitious and creative but at the end of the day, you are employed to progress your boss´agenda. As soon as you´ll remove your ego and immediate ambitions from the equation, you will feel lighter and more loyal. More adult.

6. Get comfortable with confrontation

Conflict and confrontation at work are inevitable. Eventually, you’ll have to face telling off employees, dealing with politics, challenging your boss or being told no. Rather than avoiding these situations, or pretending they won´t happen, be an adult and face them. Learn how to give and receive constructive feedback. Don´t take things personally. This will only make you a more respected and confident leader in the long term.

7. Keep a private side

Making friends at work is invaluable and feeling like you are being yourself is crucial. But please remember that this is work. Not high-school, not happy hour. Work. And keeping sides of your life private will shield you from gossips and attacks. Trust me, I made that mistake once.

What did you struggle with coming into professional life? As always, keen to hear from you ladies!

EF.