Posted by Beverly on
April 16, 2010
Though the unemployment rate is still high, people are returning to work and hopefully this trend will continue in the future.
According to business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, author of NewRules@Work: 79 Etiquette Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead, “The position people hold, the responsibilities they have and the type of workplace they enter may be very different than the one they left. As a result, it is normal for people to experience anxiety while learning their job and their organization’s culture”
Pachter stresses that it’s helpful for new hires to remember that no one expects them to know everything at once. Follow these eight tips to overcome new job jitters and make an initial positive impression:
1. Do more than expected of you. Naturally it is important to do your job and do it well, but you also want to get noticed. Doing more than expected of you is one way to have others see you as a competent person. Help others and volunteer for additional assignments.
2. Don’t keep comparing your former position to your current one It’s easy to compare the old to the new, but your colleagues don’t want to keep hearing, “Well, in my old company we did it this way” You sound like a know-it-all. Also, don’t complain about your salary. You may not be making what you did in your last job, but complaining won’t make it any larger. It just makes you annoying.
3. Know your company’s social media guidelines Social media has exploded in the workplace over the last couple of years, but it may not have been an issue when you were last working. Learn what you can and cannot do on Facebook, YouTube, etc. Also, do not post negative comments about your new employer. You don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you.
4. Greet people As you walk the hallways, stand in the lunch line, or ride the elevator, make an effort to say “hi” or “good morning” to others. You appear friendly and approachable when you do.
5. Listen to others. You cannot learn what others know when you’re talking. Listen more than you speak. Eventually though, if you don’t speak up, you can become invisible. Just make sure that when you do speak, your questions are relevant and your comments worthwhile.
6. Don’t advertise your inexperience. People often say “I’ve never done this before” or “This is all new for me” You want people to view you as a capable person. Reminding them of your lack of experience creates a different image.
7. Dress appropriately. What was appropriate in your old company may not be suitable for your new position. Look at what successful people in your company are wearing. You can usually model yourself after them.
8. Take business social situations seriously. Activities held outside the office, such as dinners in restaurants or holiday parties are still business events. Attend, mingle and don’t get drunk. You will meet more people and learn more about your company when you do.
Barbara Pachter is speaker, coach and author of numerous business books, including The Power of Positive Confrontation ($15.95, paperback, Marlowe & Co.) and When the Little Things Count ($13.95, paperback, Marlowe & Co.).
For a free copy of Pachter’s communication e-newsletter, Competitive Edge, go to www.pachter.com.
Posted by Beverly on
November 3, 2009
With unemployment in the US reaching almost 10 percent, many people are transitioning from employee to entrepreneur.
According to business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, author of When The Little Things Count…And They Always Count, “Out of necessity people are establishing their own businesses. Many of these new entrepreneurs are working from home and having to be professional when interacting with potential customers, clients, venders, former colleagues and bosses”
Pachter suggests these 7 guidelines to help people maintain a business image no matter where their offices are located:
1. Have a separate space for your office. You need an area or room that is private and where you won’t hear dogs barking and/or children screaming. And if you have children, establish a closed-door policy. Your children need to know that you are working and unless it’s an emergency or really important, they are not to disturb you.
2. Answer your phone or cell phone professionally Invest in a separate line for work calls. When you answer, give a greeting and your name: “Good morning, Barbara Pachter speaking” When you are not able to answer the phone, have your callers hear a business message–no little kids talking or music blasting. Tell them who they have reached and when you will return the call.
3. Have a website You can start with a basic site that explains what you do and how to contact you. Use an appropriate business domain name for your website and use that domain name for your email address. (i.e. www.pachter.com and email@example.com).
4. Be organized Most people can’t function in chaos. Have file cabinets. Use a contact management system, like ACT, to keep good records of your business contacts and activities. Develop good quality business cards, stationery and any company materials.
5. Create a professional internet presence In addition to having a website, use social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to let people know about your business. And remember anything you post becomes part of your professional image. Google yourself to find out what your customers will discover about you. Blog about your work. But don’t get so wrapped up in social media that you neglect other parts of your business.
6. Dress up if you need to. Many people tell me that it helps them feel professional if they put themselves together before they start working. However, if you can work well in your PJs, as long as you don’t videoconference, go for it!
7. Have the appropriate space if you are meeting with people If you don’t have the space, arrange the use of a meeting room or meet in a restaurant.
Barbara Pachter is a speaker, trainer, coach and author of numerous business books, including The Power of Positive Confrontation and NewRules@Work: 79 Etiquette Tips, Tools and Techniques to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead. For a free copy of her communication e-newsletter, “Competitive Edge,” you can call (856) 751-6141 (NJ) or go to www.pachter.com.
Posted by Beverly on
June 10, 2009
Summer time is here. As women in business, that means we must be mindful, more than ever, of how we choose to dress to impress.
Barbara Pachter, a business etiquette expert and author of the NewRules@Work: 79 Etiquette Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead (Prentice Hall Press), issues her comments on professional summer dress. She says ”sexy is not a corporate look” and warns that dressing seductively in the workplace can severely damage a woman’s credibility.
Although warmer weather is often to blame for unsuitable work attire, Pachter also blames inappropriate television role models, fashion designers and a lack of self-awareness as some of the reasons why many women dress seductively.
But she stresses, you can still be feminine—just without flaunting your figure.
The key, Pachter suggests, is to ask yourself what you may be drawing attention to via your clothing. “Are you promoting your ideas and your competence or your sexuality?
Here are 7 suggestions from Barbara to ensure your business wardrobe stays professional, regardless of the weather:
1. No Cleavage—Period. I am amazed that I need to tell women that cleavage is not appropriate for the office. And it’s not!
2. Avoid Short Skirts. Showing too much leg (even really good ones) is never an appropriate way to dress for the office. Avoid high slits and keep your skirts no higher than the top of your knees. When the skirt is significantly above the knee, the knee becomes a visual anchor and draws people’s attention down to your legs. Is that where you want people to look?
3. Make A Smart Decision About Stockings Michelle Obama usually doesn’t wear them, but should you? Some offices require them, others don’t. Stockings provide a cleaner, more finished look, but they are not always necessary in today’s business casual environment. Stockings won’t help an outfit that shouldn’t be worn to work in the first place. And the issue becomes moot when you wear pants. But the appearance of your legs should be considered. Legs with lots of veins, scars, moles or very pale skin are usually better covered up.
4. Less Really Is More The less skin you show, the more professional you’ll be, so no exposing your belly, no see-through tops, and no spaghetti strap tops. (And, ugh, no thongs showing from the tops of your pants. We just don’t need to see it!)
5. Stay Away From Skintight Outfits Your clothing needs to fit, and not overemphasize body parts. Fabrics bulge and buttons pull when the item is too tight.
6. Shoes Count People notice shoes. It’s one of the little details that add polish to your professional presence. No flip flops or sandals. It’s not the beach; it’s work. One manager said, “I do run a casual place, but when a job candidate showed up for the interview in flip flops, I just couldn’t hire her”
7. Know That Sex Appeal Has It Limits. If your road to success is being based on how sexy you look, you are dooming yourself to failure. Eventually you won’t be able to compete.
Barbara Pachter is the author of numerous books, including The Power of Positive Confrontation ($14.95, paperback, Marlowe & Co.) and When the Little Things Count…And They Always Count ($13.95, paperback, Marlowe & Co.) second edition.
Pachter is a speaker and coach specializing in business etiquette and communication. Her client list features major organizations worldwide, including Microsoft, Pfizer, Cisco, and Genentech.