You’ve started a new job or internship and want to make a great impression. But how?
My advice: stop worrying about “fitting in” and start thinking about how to stand out!
Take communication, for example. Communication is one of the skills employers most highly covet in workers. Many people think they are good communicators, but their poor grammar betrays this. I know doctors and lawyers who could use a refresher on grammar rules, not just college students!
Take note of how many times you slip into common grammar mistakes, like saying, “me and Susan” instead of “Susan and I.” Putting others first, even simply in a sentence structure, shows that you are not self-centered. Another amusing phrase I hear all the time is “If you have any questions, contact myself.” Why not keep it simple and say, “contact me?”
Proper communication is an essential tool; every time you speak, you represent yourself. Besides demonstrating your command of the English language, using correct grammar demonstrates that you are educated, sophisticated, and care about details.
Using improper wording is like getting dressed up for an interview and forgetting to style your hair; it’s sloppy. And for those of you who interview with more senior executives and/or more mature workers in an organization, the improper use of grammar could cost you the gig.
Besides communication, there are a number of business etiquette and office congeniality gestures that can help set you apart from others. These actions can lift others, show leadership, demonstrate empathy and breed a culture of positive inclusion and customer service. Little things like saying “good morning” or “hello” when you arrive at work, taking the time to chat with colleagues you don’t usually get to work with, writing a card recognizing an accomplishment/life milestone, filling the copy machine, or doing the dishes in the office kitchen sink are token acts of kindness and thoughtfulness that speak volumes.
By mastering grammar, courtesy, and other norms of business etiquette, you can set yourself apart from the herd. And that is how you will grow as a person, a leader and a colleague.