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Succeeding in a Professional Work Setting

12. Dress Appropriately. There are loads of great stories about the world’s most brilliant braniacs or successful entrepreneurs that dress like slobs. Once you become your generation’s Steve Jobs, you can dress however you like. Until that time, remember that after your face, your attire and grooming are the first thing someone notices. Sometimes, it’s the first.

11. Be On Time. That means be on time for work, for meetings, and anything else that actually has a scheduled time.

10. Shake Hands. Stand up when you do it. Look the person in the eyeballs. Shake firmly. If you don’t do all three, you’re effectively saying, “Your hand isn’t worth shaking.”

9. Listen First. You’ve heard that expression you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Well, it’s good one. Listen first and twice as much as you speak and you’ll sound smarter twice as often and be wrong half as much.

8. Shut Off Your Cell Phone. Unless you’re a doctor, lawyer, on call technician that fixes my computer when it breaks, or waiting for your wife to deliver your child, turn your cell phone off when you’re meeting with people. Don’t worry about what scandal is trending on Facebook. It’ll still be there by the time your meeting adjourns.

7. Write Proper Emails. That means correct spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and so on.

6. Do One Thing at a Time. Technically, “multitasking” as people like to call it, is nothing more that quickly switching between tasks you think you’re doing concurrently. (You’re actually doing them serially, but you’re switching between them so quickly it appears to you as though you’re doing them at the same time.) Focus on whatever you’re doing when you’re doing it. This includes listening to your boss while she is speaking instead of checking your email.

5. Follow Through. Always deliver on your promises. Always do what you say you’ll do. Always. Always. Always.

4. Be Open Minded. Regardless of how ridiculous someone’s opinion sounds, look for the positive in it and the creativity it might provide your overall idea or solution. Think of all the amazing gadgets you’re probably using to read this post. How ridiculous did they once sound?

3. Be Diplomatic. As an extension of being open minded, make sure to be tactful when interacting with anyone within (or outside of) your company. There’s absolute no point in being a jerk to anyone—no matter how much someone might deserve it.

2. Introduce People. That means make sure you always make sure every person in the room knows each other. Expand that within your company. Then do it outside your company. It’s called networking and it’ll save your life one day.

1. Treat Everyone Like They Will Someday be in a Position to Offer You a Job. Chances are they will be. Chances are they will be…in case you didn’t hear me the first time.

Adapted from milewalk as published on LinkedIn.com
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