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How can your workplace behaviour help you succeed?

You’re starting your perfect new job and looking forward to a new start. This is a perfect opportunity to consider your workplace behaviour and how it contributes to your success.


First impressions

When you meet your new colleagues, make a strong start with a smile, a confident (but not crushing) handshake and good eye contact. Try to maintain an open and positive demeanour – not overbearing but not timid either!

Take stock of who you are meeting and don’t reveal too much of your own nature yet. Aim to be cool and relaxed – and enigmatic!

One excellent method of meeting new colleagues is to place a bowl of chocolates on your desk. You’ll have a full floorplan by the end of day one!


Body language and behaviour around the office

An enormous amount of communication is through non-verbal cues. So as you settle into your role, be mindful of the signals you are subconsciously sending out.

Try to be aware of not keeping your arms always folded as this can be seen as blocking, aggressive or confrontational.

You want to present yourself as alert and agile. Remember to regularly address your posture so that you aren’t slumping – especially at your work station. When you are on your feet, balance yourself equally to avoid a slouchy attitude.


Observe and listen

As well-regarded career coach once said: you have two ears and one mouth – and they should be used in that ratio!


Asking questions is a good thing

Colleagues are generally flattered when asked for advice. They infer a sense of being valued and appreciated. So don’t ever be afraid to ask for help or guidance. It will endear you to them.


Meeting etiquette

Remember meetings? Everyone in the same room sharing coffee, disappointing biscuits and the mutual desire to get the meeting over with as soon as possible. At some point, “we’ll meet again” so it is worth remembering a few do’s and don’ts…

Be prepared and always arrive on time, armed with the agenda (which you will have read) and minutes of the previous meeting.

If lateness is unavoidable, text the organiser and (if the delay is last minute) a couple of attendees your apologies with (if possible) an ETA. When you do finally join the meeting, be discreet. Don’t rattle the crockery as you help yourself to tea and coffee, noisily seat yourself in such a way to disrupt those already seated and then have the impudence to ask the speaker to repeat what you’ve missed. (This actually happens!)

Switch phones to silent but, if you do have to take a call, don’t take it in the meeting and embark on a full conversation. (This also actually happens and is permissible in many cultures!)

Meetings can have a soporific effect. Rather than relying on the coffee, instead drink water – chilled if available – and avoid boredom nibbling. (Meeting biscuits are usually unpleasant enough for this to be redundant advice!)


Socialising with colleagues or attending work events

Don’t steady nerves with booze ahead of a work-related event. Ever. You are out on the firm’s dime and you are an ambassador for them – so know your limits and stay in control at all times.

You are there to meet new people – so go mingle! Check out the attendee list – if it is available. Be wingman to a colleague. If neither of these are an option, have a couple of conversation openers up your sleeve, take a deep breath and go for it!

In a post-Covid world, shaking hands may once again be an option. If you have drinks, keep them in your left hand so your shaking hand stays free – and dry. Don’t overcrowd plates with food. Remember you are here to network for your company, not mine the buffet.

If you are at a work social ‘do’, it is equally important to exercise restraint regarding alcohol. Keep conversation light and positive. Your friends are a better forum for workplace-related moaning.


The meek shall also inherit the corner office

A recent major survey from the USA proved that, when it comes to business, nice people do get ahead! This definitively debunks the age-old myth that only bullying, Machiavellian alphas succeed.

Your character has obviously impressed your new company enough to hire you. So, have the confidence to be you – just the best possible you! Heed our simple to follow guide and you will give your career the best possible boost – as well as being a highly-valued colleague.

For more tips on all aspects of your job hunting and onboarding, contact our friendly and experienced team. Call us today on 01483 668700 or email us at

To find out more about our current exciting vacancies, check out our Candidate Dashboard.

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