Info & Advice - Just Starting
Office Phone Functions You Need To Learn
An inability to operate your office phone will have co-workers and clients alike secretly calling you “newbie”.  Overcome your fear of the 200-function phone with this guide to critical features.

So you've just started or your phone is diabolical.  Either way, you just need a good guideline of what you need to get down with your phone.  Read on.

Phone Functions You Must Memorize:
The Hold Button - Nothing is more embarrassing than saying “hold please”, and then spending an uncomfortable silence fumbling for the key you know is “around here somewhere...”.  
The Transfer Button – Knowing how to transfer a call empowers you to forward that cantankerous misdirected call to someone more deserving of the verbal abuse.  
Conferencing Procedures –  Practice this feature by opening a fake conference call on your desk phone, and then conferencing in on your cell.  Clients are so never impressed with accidental disconnects.  
Forwarding Calls – This is where you forward calls calling into your office phone, to another location, namely your cell phone.  So get this one right.  Learning to forward calls to your cell is critical if you are frequently on the road or away from your desk, as availability is a key part of client satisfaction.  
Forward To Voicemail – If project deadlines loom and you need a little quiet time, direct to voicemail can be your saving grace.  Forward to voicemail operates under the aliases Do Not Disturb, Away From Desk, Unavailable, or In a Meeting.  
Phone Volume –  Know how to adjust the volume on your office phone; both the ringer and the caller levels.  You don’t want your loud talking friend to call shouting about last night’s wild party when the boss is standing over your shoulder.

Picking Up A Call On Hold – Don’t be caught unprepared when the intercom booms your name (“Melissa, line 37, Melissa 37”).  No cheat sheet for this one, you’ll probably need it when you’re away from your desk phone.    
Create a cheat sheet of these key phone features and keep it by your desk phone until you have them memorized.  Also post your office phone number near your phone to avoid the common but embarrassing “You can reach me at, uh, what’s my number?”  Mastering your desk phone can be tricky, but not knowing how to use key features will make shedding the inevitable “newbie” title that much harder. 

So get it right, and then, get on doing your job.

... more »
By stacymorgan

New Job? You’re Going to Make Mistakes

Yes you’re new and yes you’re going to make mistakes. Use them as learning tools and you’ll be okay.


On any new job, you’re going to make mistakes. The best thing to do is to learn from them and find ways to avoid them in the future.  No one expects you to be perfect.  And being your worst critic will not help you or your boss. 


Steps to take…


Admit Your Mistakes – So let’s say you’ve just made a mistake.  First of all, don’t panic. One of the worst mistakes a newbie makes is to try to cover up a mistake. You will show that you are a mature and competent worker if you can admit that you messed up instead of trying to hide the fact. Face it, the truth always comes out so face the music head on. 


Don’t Fret, Focus – Don’t think it is the end of the world.  You are not the first person to make a mistake.  And even though it may feel like it, it is NOT the end of the world.  Just about anything can be fixed.  Just focus on a game plan to right the wrong.


Remain CompetentDon’t let the fear of making a mistake keep you from making decisions or taking risks.  The old saying, “it is better to ask forgiveness than permission,” rings true on occasion in the workplace.  Bosses often would rather have employees who take chances and improve from there, rather than have employees who just sit on their hands.


Ask Questions – Look for ways to correct what you’ve done and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  You’ll need to expand your knowledge base to keep from making the same mistake, and asking questions can be that very powerful tool to your learning experience.


So ‘Buck it up, Binky,’ we all make mistakes.  It’s whether or not you learn from them that counts.

... more »
By kathrynpless

New Job To Do List
Must-do tasks to complete post hire.

You aced the interview and sealed the salary deal, but it’s not all smooth sailing from here.  Starting a new job means checking these unglamorous tasks off your new job to-do list.

Before You Begin:

Dress For Success – Put together enough outfits for your first week of work.  You need to be especially conservative in the beginning while you decode the dress code, but keep comfort in mind too – this is no time to break in those new heels.  

Conquer The Commute – If possible, do a practice run of your new commute on a weekday morning at the time you’ll be heading in.  “I had no idea I-95 is so crazy in the morning!” is no excuse for being late on day one.

Assemble Your Arsenal – Your company will supply you with a rash of cubicle goodies like pens, staplers, etc, but be prepared with a few supplies of your own.  A pen and pad for scribbling notes during the introductory phase are good starters.  

Day One…

Introductions All Around – Make sure to ask for introductions to key players at work.  Keep a list of names and associated departments, and highlight the ones it would be really, really embarrassing to forget (your boss, their boss, owner of the company, CEO, etc).  Your homework this week is to study that list.

Learn To Navigate – Until they release building specific GPS, this one goes on the to-do list.  You’ll need to know departments like HR, accounting and purchasing, shipping and receiving, the supply closet for when the pen thief strikes your desk, the bosses offices, and the location of all conference rooms for when you’re thrown into a meeting. And of course that oh so important locale, the restrooms.


Take Notes – Write down everything, and make sure reviewing it is on your to-do list as well.  Compile a list of responsibilities and section them off into morning to-do list, mid-day to-do list, and end of day to-do list.  

Socialize with Co-Workers – Finally, something fun on your to-do list.  Getting to know your new peers at work is important not only because it helps you to assimilate into “the crew”, but also because they hold information that is vital to your success.  Co-workers can (and will!) tell you that the boss hates to be spoken to before their morning coffee and that the fish sandwich at the deli on the corner is guaranteed food poisoning.  Very important information.

Starting a new job can be an overwhelming experience, particularly if this is your first foray into the “real” world.  Checking these tasks off your new job to-do list will make the transition from newbie to established worker a much smoother process.  

... more »
By stacymorgan

Top New Job Mistakes to Avoid
Congrats! You've landed your job and want to make a good impression. Here is a list of common new job mistakes to steer clear of.
  1. Do not dress like you are going out for a night on the town.

You are in the corporate workplace now and must dress appropriately. Conservative is the key word. Even if your office is a little more “business casual” you still need to look professional. Leave the hardware for your piercings at home. If you wear jewelry, keep it simple and tasteful.

  1. Do not wear obnoxious amounts of perfume or cologne.

Whether you are a guy or a girl, you are going to work, not on a date.  So just don't do it.

  1. NEVER use profanity, or vulgar or suggestive language.

Although this may be considered “okay” in some workplaces, many people today are very sensitive to those kinds of remarks. It shouldn't have to be said, but ditto for racial or religious comments. Equality, safety and common sense people!

  1. Do NOT be late...ever.

Show up at least ten minutes early every morning. Note, if you are consistently punctual and reliable, when you DO have to be late, your boss will be more inclined to believe you.

  1. Don't use company time to do personal things like talk on the phone, text, or run errands.

They are paying you to work. Those things can be done on your time.

  1. Don't sit idly by if you finish a job.

Take initiative and go to your supervisor, inquiring of the next steps in a project or tasks to be done.

Trust me, you don’t want to have to learn these hard lessons for yourself. Take my advice!  Avoid these six common mistakes, and you will be well on your way to new job success.

... more »
By chrisjanzen

Double Check Everything
Details can make or break a task or project as every detail is a key piece of information. If you miss even the smallest detail, it can have major repercussions.  And that, can often come back to haunt you in a big way.


One of the characteristics of an efficient worker is attention to detail. Being detail orientated doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. Pay attention to necessary informationInformation like - names, dates, places, times, amounts and numbers.  All are vital to any task or project, whether it be through taking the information away, or tasking yourself to include that information in the finished task or project.


Pay attention to details at the start and finish of every task.To do lists and checklists can be powerful tools.  Write notes and check against them upon job completion. Read and then re-read letters and presentations to be sure they are error free. Send confirmation emails to co-workers and clients to be sure that everything is in place and completed. If you’re not sure, ask a co-worker to take a quick look at your task to be sure you haven’t missed anything. Many times a fresh pair of eyes can catch mistakes.


When you double check everything and pay special attention to detail, you can rest assured that your job tasks and projects will be picture perfect and go off without a hitch.  And that’s the reputation you want in any job.

... more »
By kathrynpless

First Previous Next Last
Showing 1 - 5 of 7 Articles