Good working practices

Read on for masses of tips – the more you can agree with, the better your chance of success in your new job.

  1. Punctuality is vital.  Arrive on time, allowing time to go to the loo and grab a drink before the actual start of your day. Always be early to appointments and meetings. It shows respect.
  2. Don’t take advantage. We all have dental appointments, but try not to schedule one for the first few weeks unless absolutely necessary. 
  3. Get motivated each day. Before you start work each day, get yourself motivated. Stop asking questions like ‘why do I have to go to work?’ and reframe by asking ‘what can I contribute today?’
  4. At the end of each working day, review what you have done. Give yourself a pat on the back for what you have accomplished, and think about what you have learnt from things that didn’t go so well.
  5. Plan what you are going to do tomorrow, the night before, or first thing.  What is important and urgent? Don’t get sucked into spending e.g. two hours on emails when you have an important report to write.
  6. Be organised. Use your diary or online scheduler to manage your time and ensure nothing gets missed.
  7. Keep your promises. If you say you will complete a report that day, make sure you do, and if you run into difficulties let people know right away. 
  8. Under promise and over deliver. Rather than miss a deadline, better to say something will take a bit longer and then get it ready sooner. Your customer or colleagues will be delighted.
  9. Be prepared to reprioritise. Learn to prioritise your work so that you can be prepared to tackle important and urgent matters when they come up.
  10. Time management. Don’t immediately respond to phone and email messages. Set aside periods when you look at your emails so you can focus on a task.
  11. Keep a weekly assessment report where you can rate yourself on task and achievements. How good are your listening and communication skills? Do you meet your deadlines? Have you shown some initiative? Keep track of what you achieve, especially when it goes beyond your normal job. You can bring these into the discussion (and even better, present a list) at annual appraisal time.
  12. If you are not sure, ask. It is far better to get clarification and additional information before you start, rather than go off on the wrong track.
  13. Don’t steal. Many people get into the habit of taking pens, and paper, but this is white- collar criminality and stealing. Worse perhaps is stealing time, having long distance phone calls when you should be working and reading magazines just because you know your boss is in a meeting.
  14. Be the voice of the customer. Find out all you can about your new company’s customer base. What attracts them to your company? Why do they stay? Why do they leave? Consider what the customer wants.
  15. In meetings, concentrate. You may have to take action based on what was discussed.
  16. Watch your language. Never tell racist, dirty, or sexist jokes, and ignore those who attempt to share them with you. Don’t swear.
  17. Give positive feedback. Always take the opportunity to congratulate others who have done well and thank them for being helpful.
  18. Share the credit. When you are personally complimented for something that you know was a team effort, don’t forget to give credit to the team.
  19. Be a team member. Do something to help your co-workers succeed in their day.
  20. Avoid complaining. Every office environment has a person who takes on the role of office complainer. Don’t get involved in discussing their complaints. Look for solutions, not problems.
  21. Don’t gossip. Show respect for your boss in everything you do. Do not join others in boss bashing. Walk away from office gossipers. Never discuss your salary with your colleagues.
  22. Find a mentor. Someone older and more experienced who can offer advice and guidance on your longer term career plans alongside helping you be more effective and successful in your job.
  23. Future Career Development. Get copies of competitors’ annual reports. They will keep you in tune of your industry and will help you better understand and appreciate your company’s competitive edge.
  24. Take a short break. If you are feeling stressed, take a 5 minute break to recharge.
  25. Mistakes will be made! Take responsibility for them immediately. Admit you were wrong or made a mistake, and move on. Just be sure not to make the same mistake again.

Read part 1 of New Job Advice here.

Published On: March 26th, 2013 / Categories: Career Management, Job Search /


  1. David March 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you Denise. This is a very good list. I appreciate this.

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