While every student’s dream is to land their dream job after school, many are really oblivious of what’s appropriate and inappropriate. Ironically, even with years of experience, some people still make avoidable mistakes. This has necessitated the need to examine some workplace etiquette which international students should know.
While there are many of them, we’ll only look at a few dos and don’ts and they include:
- Make a good first impression.
- Always wear a smile and be punctual.
- Be kind and courteous.
- Return calls and emails within 24 hours.
- Network with people outside your immediate circle.
- Respect people’s space.
- Keep your mobile device on silent mode or switch it off during meetings.
- Introduce yourself clearly using your first and last name.
- Respect workplace boundaries.
- Dress appropriately.
- Don’t bring your emotions to the office.
- Avoid interrupting or confronting people at meetings.
- Don’t talk back to your boss.
- Stay away from wearing strong perfumes.
- Don’t wash your dirty laundry at work.
- Resist the urge to share very personal and sensitive information with colleagues.
- Are you sick or have a contagious illness? Don’t go to work, call your boss to explain.
- Don’t bother others with your music or phone conversations. Keep it private.
- The convenience is for everyone, don’t mess it up.
- The conference room is not your personal space, don’t treat it as such.
- Do your research thoroughly. Find out the much you can about the country and people you’ll be working with to understand their culture and customs.
- Try to learn the language even if it’s just at a conversational level, this will give a good impression.
- Take note of public holidays and varying work hours for different countries.
- Time zones are very important, take note of them to avoid offending people by calling when they’re asleep.
- At business meetings, ensure that the meals served include delicacies your clients or business partners are familiar with. i.e. meals from their cultural cuisines.