The way you behave on the job is extremely important. Obviously. But if you’re new to the professional scene you might not know what to expect just yet. Gen Y has been conditioned since birth to feel entitled, and expect to be able to act a certain way. Don’t deny it; you know what I’m talking about. We Gen Y-ers have been raised to think we are the best and that we deserve a hell of a lot. (I’m not saying we’re not, but let’s have some realistic expectations, people.) We’re also pretty laid back as a collective, but that doesn’t mean our future employers will be. Take a look at this infographic on professionalism to get a better idea of what traits are important to emphasize, and what recruiters and HR professionals think.
As can be seen in the graphic, there are several traits that are important, but interpersonal skills take the cake. Now, we’re not referring to be the ability to become “bros” with everyone you meet, you need to know how to professionally deal with people. Being open, honest, trustworthy, and having a positive attitude are all extremely important. Showcase that shining personality you’ve got, but always remain appropriate. Office culture will determine exactly what is and isn’t appropriate, but when you’re a newbie, err on the conservative side, just in case.
We all know we’ve been glued to our techy toys ever since we laid eyes on them. We can probably text faster than we can speak – and that’s saying something. I know you’ve been thumbing away at that phone during class, but no more. Using technology appropriately and professionally means you’ll be putting the personal conversations aside for the most part. It might be perfectly fine to be on your phone at times, but certainly not always. During meetings you should probably pay attention, just a thought.
Lastly, and most importantly, in order to be a newbie you have to nail the interview first. Of course, you need to show off your personality and stay off your phone, but other things are important too. The way you dress, for example, is a big deal. If you don’t look professional in an interview will you look professional on the job? They certainly won’t think so. Did you show up late? Same concept. Their professional opinion of you starts the second you walk into the building. Make sure you start off on the right foot.