Professionalism in the US Workplace
Cultural differences and the workplace culture of your employer will have a big role in your employment. Below are some general tips on professionalism in the US workplace to help you as you get practical experience in your field.
- Take time to observe and learn the culture of your new workplace.
- Ask your coworkers and supervisor for questions you may have about how meetings, breaks, time off, sick days, etc. work.
- Be consistent:
- When you learn a new task, remember how to do it for next time. You can take notes and save them on the computer if you’d like.
- At work, the quality of your finished work is important. This might seem different than in class where effort is also really important.
- Consistently completing tasks well at work is important!
- Take initiative:
- Taking initiative can mean volunteering for a new project or helping out a busy coworker when you have time. Just as extra credit work can help you in a course the willingness to go “above and beyond” at work is important.
- This can help people see you as a “can-do” person who truly cares about your work.
- This doesn't mean doing new things without asking your supervisor. Clear and regular communication is important, especially before trying a new task or starting a new initiative. You want to ensure the work you are doing is in line with the goals of your department and position. Your supervisor can help you evaluate this.
- Try it first:
- This is a great way to learn and become resourceful about finding answers on your own. You might be surprised at how much you were able to figure out on your own!
- What identities are most important to you?
- What would your "authentic professional self" look like?
- What hinders you from being your authentic professional self?
- What allows you to be your authentic professional self?