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Employees are often remembered (for better or for worse) for the way they handle unspoken etiquette issues in the workplace. Want to impress your colleagues? Dress wisely, don't overuse technology, and stay away from Kristin ITC.


Communication

Don't overuse technology when communicating. If someone in your office asks for a "live" meeting, that means she wants to see you in person. A voicemail should be returned with a voicemail or live meeting, never with an email or text.

You may look desperate when you call the guy/girl you like 24 hours after getting his/her number, but you'll look professional when you reply to a request quickly at work. Never let 24 hours go by without at least acknowledging a request or question.

It's better to say no than to say nothing at all. If you're unable to do something or be somewhere, it's ok to respond with a no. You lose more points when you fail to respond to a request or question in the workplace.

When you quickly minimize your browser every time your boss visits your desk, it's obvious you're on Gmail or Facebook. Do the personal stuff on your own time.

Be careful when mentioning work in your blog. You may want to get permission or you may want to get fired. Or, just be smart and complain to your roommate or spouse instead.


Email Etiquette

Your friends might enjoy your crazy Santa hat smiley face in emails, but the rules change once you're on the job.

When using email, keep your messages brief, avoid long sentences and paragraphs, keep the attachments small, don't overuse the high priority option, DON'T SCREAM WITH ALL CAPS, and never use four exclamation points!!!!

Everyone in your office does not need to know your every thought, so use the "reply all" button sparingly. And everyone hates the person who uses "reply all" to get removed from a group email.

Always reread your emails before they are sent. The spell checker will not pick up errors such as, "Did you like my massage?"

When choosing email fonts, Times New Roman says, "I conform." Verdana says that you're trying to be different in that non-Harley Davidson kind of way. Kristin ITC tells people that you like fluffy bunnies and hearts.

An offensive or obscene email never goes away. A virus downloaded from your personal email account can affect everyone in the office. Be thoughtful with your email use at work.


Work Attire

If you're new to a job, buy the majority of your wardrobe after your first day. Wait to see what the cool cats around the office are wearing these days. Then you'll own work clothes that you'll actually want to wear to work.

The attire at most workplaces can be classified as either business professional or business casual.


Business Professional (Men)

When buying a business suit, buy wool. Wool suits last longer, breathe better, and wrinkle less than any other type of suit.

Own at least seven dress shirts. Shirts aren't cheap, but if you have fewer than seven shirts, you'll visit your dry cleaner so often that he'll think you're sweet on him.

Dress shirts usually come in two main styles: the traditional button-down with button holes on the collar and the spread-style collars with no buttons.

Spread-style collars come with something called collar stays or collar stiffeners.

These are used to keep your collar from curling up, and they usually come with the shirt. Remember to take them out when you wash your shirt. Otherwise, you'll have collar stay marks that never go away.


Business Professional (Women)

Some companies require that a suit be worn at all times. In less conservative companies, business professional dress can mean a blazer and coordinating skirt or slacks.

Relative to business casual, you'll want to buy less and pay more (yes!). Go with clothes that have a classic look, are well made, and can be worn the majority of the year.

A good first investment is a navy, gray, or black blazer and skirt/slacks. Stay away from floral designs and other prints. (The same rule holds true for men.)

If you have brighter colored jackets and skirts in your business casual wardrobe, you can blend those items into your business professional wardrobe.

When wearing accessories, follow the "Rule of 13." Wear a maximum of 13 accessories. Accessories include glasses, earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets, rings (one on each hand, but never in the nose), a belt, scarf, ornate buttons, and buckles. If you wear more than 13, you're over-accessorized.

Basically, if you think that you could go out dancing right after work without changing your clothes, you probably want to rethink your outfit.


Business Casual

Every company has a different definition of business casual. Some require suits (sans tie) while others permit flip-flops. There are no hard and fast rules for business casual, but there are some things to remember.

Always overdress for the first day of work. Look at your colleagues and decide how casual you can be for Day Two. Or ask your human resources representative what business casual means for your company.

If you're thinking to yourself, "How does these rules apply for rodeo clowns?" They don't. But if you're entering this field, you probably already have the whole "work outfit" thing figured out.

The phrase "business casual" still has the word "business" in it. This means you should stay dressy: tuck shirts in, don't reveal too much skin, and always iron your clothes.


Story Time

When Bert started work, he didn't have a lot of "money." Consequently, he purchased just one business suit (he thought he looked good in olive green) and wore it over and over again. After a few weeks, he was known as "Olive Green Suit Guy."

At lunch, his co-workers huddled at their table and cackled, "Did you see Olive Green Suit Guy? Today he's wearing a blue tie ... like that makes it a new outfit." They weren't laughing with him, they were laughing at him.

Bert learned that if he needed to wear a business suit to work, he should buy at least two and keep them basic. Black and gray suits might seem boring, but boring doesn't get noticed or ridiculed.