Tag Archives: entry level

Surprising Facts About Workplace Friendships

EntryLevelLifeButton_A When you’re in the workforce, a large part of your day – and your week – is spent on the job. And having friends in the workplace can help make your workday more enjoyable. When you have friends in the workplace, it gives you somebody to talk to, brainstorm ideas with, and generally helps improve your overall productivity. According to a survey in Business Wire, 70 percent of all individuals surveyed said friendships create a more supportive and friendly environment to work in, while 56 percent said it increases workplace morale.

Although some workplace friendships can transition into lifelong friendships outside of the office, other times they can backfire and cause more harm than good. When that happens, it can lead to feelings of awkwardness between those involved and have a negative impact on careers and office environments. When it comes to developing friendships in the workplace, you don’t have to avoid them. But, it is important to be a little cautious. So here are a few words of advice to help  keep your workplace friendships happy and healthy.

Remember there’s work to do. You and your co-workers have tasks and duties to perform throughout the day and you have goals to meet. Make it a point to not spend your day around the office cooler gossiping about what company news you’ve heard. If you want to talk and catch up on what’s going on with your office buddies, reserve a few minutes at the beginning of your day, go to lunch together, or talk at designated break times. Just keep in mind that too much socializing throughout the day, especially when there are deadlines to meet, can cause strain and stress on your team, your job, and your friendship.

Be careful about what information you share. If you hang out with co-workers outside of work, be careful about what personal information you share, especially if you don’t want that information shared with other co-workers. Also make sure you don’t talk about other co-workers, supervisors, or the company. Depending on how well you know that person, what you say could get back to the office.

Don’t let the friendship take advantage of you. With friendships in the workplace, you might run into a situation where a friend wants some help with their daily tasks. It’s fine to help them out, but within reason. If they need help with some software, want to bounce an idea off you, need to switch lunch hours so they can leave a little early for a doctor’s appointment, these are examples of when it’s OK to help. But, if they’re wanting you to help cover up a mistake for them, wanting you to give them less constructive feedback, or slacking on their productivity and asking you to take on some of their work, these are examples of no-no’s. Being friends does not mean playing favorites at work. You have a job to do and so do they.

Friends are great to have at work. Just remember that at work, you have to keep your actions professional because you have a job to do first and foremost. Apply these tips to your job to ensure you develop quality relationships with others in the workplace without adding to workplace frustrations.

Are Co-Workers Talking About You? The Truth About Gossip

EntryLevelLifeButton_D You hear your name being whispered. You hear laughter following. Then when you walk into a room, everyone stops talking. Webster’s Dictionary defines gossip as “such talk” or “one who chatters idly about others.” How many times have you been talked about or you’ve talked about someone else? In the workplace, it can create barriers, stir negativity, and lead to destruction.

If you’re entering the workforce for the first time, beware of the ugly beast known as gossip. It can be negative, hurtful, and embarrassing for everyone involved. It can also create conflict in the workplace, especially if you and your co-workers are in close proximity all day. To help you avoid the office drama, here are some tips on how to stay away from the rumor grapevine.

Focus on your work. You have a job to do at work. If you stay focused on your tasks, you won’t have time to participate in negative chatter. If your co-workers see you’re busy, they’ll be less likely to ask you to partake in their chit-chat. If they try to include you in the conversation, let them know you don’t feel comfortable and to exclude you from the conversation. If someone starts gossiping around you, make a choice to walk away from the conversation and don’t participate.

Keep your personal and professional life separate. It’s important to build relationships with your co-workers because doing so helps you function better as a team. But, be sure to keep your conversations professional in nature. If you tell them too much about your personal life, you could be giving individuals a reason to gossip about you. Be careful what you share and who you share information with. This also applies to social profiles such as Facebook. If you share information on your online profile that you don’t want your co-workers to see, control your privacy settings, create a professional page, or make it a policy to not add co-workers to your Facebook account.

Choose friends carefully. When you spend eight hours a day at work, it’s easy to form friendships with your co-workers. If you hang out outside of work, be careful not to talk about the workplace or other co-workers. If so, word could get back to your office and people could get upset.

Stop gossip in its tracks. The best way to end negative conversation is to say something nice about the person being talked about. Being positive is a great tool for combating negativity. A kind word can end the fun that gossips have and can stop them in their tracks – kindness doesn’t provide fuel to the fire.

At some point in time, everyone has partaken in gossip. It's damaging and never the solution to a problem. It’s better just to stop it before it gets out of control. But, if gets to a point where it is damaging to those involved, let your supervisor know. It’s sometimes tough to be the positive one, but it’s well worth the effort and is a true testament to your character, maturity, attitude, and leadership ability.

Nightmare on First Day: Tips for Avoiding a Horror Story

EntryLevelLifeButton_C After all the interviews are done and you’ve been offered a job, there’s only one big thing left for you to do –  show up for your first day on the job. Yikes! Does the thought of your first day on the job send chills down your spine and make you want to scream? What if you get lost? Will you know anyone there? What if you do something embarrassing and everyone laughs?

The first day on the job is not anything to dread. Really. But, remember even though you got the job, your first day on the job says a lot about you, so be sure to always put your best foot forward. To help you make your first day a success, here are a few situations you could face, and tips on how you can handle them to avoid a first-day nightmare.
What if no one told you where to go? Instead of getting nervous because you don’t know where to report when you get to the office, just show up. When you arrive – and it’s always a good idea to arrive about 10-15 minutes early – check in with the administrative assistant at the front desk. Let them know you’re new and tell them you want to let your manager know you’re there. They will usually call your manager, who may give you directions or come welcome you themselves.

What if you’re thrown into projects you don’t understand? Some people think the first day on the job is just spent meeting new people and touring the workplace. That’s not always the case. Some employers may toss projects at you shortly after you arrive because they want to see your reaction and how you work under pressure. Face the assignment head on. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something or you need more clarification about the project’s details. This shows initiative and is a good sign that you’ll ask for direction when you need it rather than struggling.

What if you don’t hit it off with your co-workers? Your manager may want you to meet with each employee to learn who they are and what they do, and share information about yourself. It’s important to understand that you will meet people in the workplace who have outlooks and beliefs that might differ from your own. But, remember to be professional if your views differ from theirs. The work environment is not the right place to debate who is right or wrong. Instead, focus on learning your job and listening to peers to get details on projects and how best to complete them.

What if things turn negative? No matter what conversations arise or what tone they take, don’t talk negatively about past internships, employers, or co-workers. This can hurt your career, especially since you’ll spend a lot of time in the office around your co-workers. Instead, keep an upbeat attitude, setting the tone for a professional reputation.

Following these simple tips will help you make the most of your first day and help you have a good start to your new career. First days can be scary, but they don’t have to be a nightmare.