Tag Archives: Professional You

conflict_punch

Professional You – Dealing with workplace conflict, Part 2

In Part 1, we talked about the importance of asking questions and sticking to the facts when it comes to assessing workplace conflicts. Today, we’re wondering, how do conflicts arise? Common sources of conflict It can be helpful to ask yourself some simple questions to assess the source of the conflict: Is someone doing something they are NOT supposed to […]

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conflict

Professional You – Dealing with workplace conflict, Part 1

I’ll be honest, as I began writing this post, I really struggled! It became evident that a single post was not going to suffice, so I’ll be breaking it into a few parts. Why so much to write? There are so many factors to weigh when it comes to dealing with workplace conflict. Also, conflict, whether it’s with a co-worker, a supervisor, or a customer, is inevitable. Dealing with conflicts, or potential conflicts, can be very challenging. Further, there are differing degrees of severity – some situations might be better described as disagreements or even annoyances, while others can become full-blown battles. I do believe, however, that many workplace conflicts can be dealt with in a manner that avoids escalation.

Ask questions
If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you are probably sensing a theme – asking questions is generally a good rule of thumb! When you are new to a position, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with your company’s or department’s policies for dealing with disputes, conflicts, disagreements, etc. These can differ from place to place, and can depend on the parties involved. For example, policies for how to deal with customer complaints will likely differ from how to deal with a disagreement with a co-worker. So, be sure you are well versed with your whatever policies may be in place. If no policy exists, speak with your supervisor before any conflicts arise to find out how she prefers to deal with them.
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Image: The Container Store

Professional You – Building your wardrobe

Image: The Container Store

One of the first issues of concern that I hear from new professionals is “What will I wear?” While this question may seem a bit frivolous to some, as a college student, you probably don’t own a wide (or any) selection of professional attire. You definitely want to dress appropriate to your field, without breaking the bank.

Ask around
Long before your first day of work, ask your supervisor what the expectations are for what you can and cannot wear to work. Typically, your line of work will dictate what type of attire you will need to buy. For example, if you work in the healthcare setting, you’ll likely need scrubs and comfortable footwear. If you’re working as a geology research assistant, you may be expected to own steel-toe shoes and protective outwear. If you’ll be working in certain labs, you may need to wear a hairnet. A job in finance will likely require you to own a number of suits.

There may also be some organizational or departmental policies about wearing jewelry (how and where it’s is worn), perfume, finger nail length, etc. Depending on your line of work and the organization, there may even be a manual or handbook that details this sort of information. Even if your employer tells you to wear “business attire” or “business casual”, these terms can mean different things to different employers. So, ask questions.
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Young Professionals

Professional You – An introduction to a new series

Today, we begin a new series of articles exploring the transition from college student to new professional. This series is for students starting internships, as well as new grads starting in your first professional position.

Whether interning or working full time, you understandably want to make a good impression and get your professional career started in right direction. One of the first things to keep in mind is that it takes time to learn a new position. It’s great to be excited and zealous for the work, but make sure you give yourself enough time to adjust to this new opportunity. For interns, that learning curve may only be 1-3 weeks, since your time with the organization will be relatively short. In all honesty, you’ll be in learning mode for the entire internship, but those first few weeks will be especially key. For full time employment, you’ll need at least six months, but probably closer to 12-18 months of steadily learning and observing your new surroundings.
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