As you pack away your ripped jeans and stained, graphic tees into the dusty and musty basement, you swipe your credit card at the shop that carries professional clothing.
Transitioning from college, to your first adult job takes more than just a wardrobe makeover. And depending on what industry you work in, or how casual the work culture is, the rules may be a bit different. However, no matter where you work at, a business is trying to run a business and there are some universal rules.
1) Be On Time
Or actually, arrive early. Most professional jobs have very stringent rules on when you should be at work. If you're used to waking up at noon for a 12:30PM class, you'll need to learn how to adjust. Not only can it get awkward if you're walking into the office late while a meeting is going on, you give off the impression that you just don't care.
Tip: head out for work about 20 minutes earlier, just in case there are any traffic or accidents that may delay your trip. This will give you ample time to get yourself to work.
2) Leave Discriminatory Jokes At Home
No matter how funny you think your discriminatory jokes are, they probably aren't. And even if they to are to some people, they're inevitably going to offend somebody. It shows the true colors of your character, and it might not reflect good ones. Especially since you never really know your colleagues background, opinions, stories, or experiences. Keep 'em to yourself.
3) Respect Your Coworkers & Bosses
No matter how relaxed your office is, respect is something everyone wants. Although you might find it to be common sense to have a level of respect for your superiors or bosses, it's also important to have respect for your coworkers. Your fellow coworker might be the person who you might need help from.
Also, respect to those who work around the office (cleaners, maintenance, receptionist). They are worth a lot more to a company than you realize. I remember one of my previous jobs, before waiting for my interview, I was connecting with the receptionist. I then found out that when they hire, they consider the receptionist's input.
Just be a good person -- in and out of the office. People notice.