Interns and recent grads alike can all relate—diving into the real world for a new job is intimidating. But while you might currently own your company’s unofficial title of “the new guy” and are still learning the ropes of this whole “adulting” thing, it doesn’t mean you have to stick out like a sore thumb. Newbie or not, these simple tricks will instantly make you feel more professional.
1. Maintain confidence in your voice.
Speaking with confidence is the best trick. Even if you’re not a renowned expert on a topic, simply speaking with a self-assured inflection in your tone makes others (and yourself!) believe in what you’re saying. When it comes to professional communication, we’re convinced this is the number one key.
2. Work on your posture.
This goes hand in hand with speaking confidently. Something as simple as perking up from a slouched stance can give off a totally different impression to those you’re speaking with. You’ll appear more confident, professional, and like you’re meant to be standing in your shoes.
3. Take time to put together your “look.”
There’s something about a sharp look that makes a person appear more professionally seasoned. Even if your job tends to lean towards the lax side of the dress code, it’s worth taking some extra time for a more structured look. When you look the part, you feel the part.
4. Get to know your coworkers.
Your working relationships are important. It’s totally worth getting to know all of your coworkers—from smaller, more personal things about them to their overall job responsibilities. Communicating professionally feels a lot more effortless when you’re comfortable with the people around you. Not to mention, understanding everyone’s unique professional role makes it easier for you to determine the best ways to work together.
5. Keep your workspace organized.
An organized desk is the most productive kind of workspace. This means having all the necessary supplies, using desktop organizers to keep everything in its place, and having tools like calendars and planners to stay on top of your tasks. Think about it this way—would you feel more professional sitting at an immaculate-looking workspace, or one where you’re babysitting a mountain of scribbled-on papers and Post-It notes?
6. Practice your listening skills.
Do you ever get so caught up figuring out how to respond to someone that you completely forget to even listen to them? Working on your listening skills is a major step in becoming a pro communicator. Even something as simple as being able to repeat someone’s name back to them can instantly make you feel (and sound) more professional.
7. Step up for more opportunities.
Experience is the best teacher. You might be a fresh face in the office right now, but exposing yourself to more opportunities will help you quickly gain confidence. Plus, nothing kills that “professional” vibe like feeling stagnant in your career. Stepping up to the plate shows your manager what you’re capable of, and that will aid you in climbing the corporate ladder.