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Whether you’re a fresh-faced first year or an experienced post-graduate, you’ll eventually have to go out into the working world. And when you do, you’re going to have to learn to behave like a professional. It’s not easy knowing exactly what to do and what not to do when you start working. But acting like a professional is almost as important as being good at your job. If you want to be taken seriously and earn your colleagues’ respect, here are some tips. 1. Be polite, even when you don’t want to be Not everybody is a morning person and not everyone is in a pleasant mood after a stressful meeting. But that doesn’t mean you get to take it out on those around you. You have to respect your coworkers and bosses, even when you find them irritating or you’re having a bad day. Speak to everyone in a polite manner, even if all you want to do is take a nap and cry. A big part of being an adult is learning to behave in a certain way. The language you use at work and what you choose to say to those around you matters. If you’re rude and abrupt, you won’t last long in the business world. 2. Don’t make it personal If your boss gives you negative feedback or a client yells at you, you need to remember that it’s not personal. No matter what industry you’re in or what your job description says, you will end up having a negative encounter at one time or another. It’s important to separate what someone says about your work from how they feel about you. You also need to remember not to make it personal when you disagree with someone. If you get in an argument at the office, do not insult the person or make comments about their personality and home life. Keep it professional at all times. 3. Know your limits Sure, you want to impress your boss. You want to show your employers that you know what you’re talking about and that they made the right decision when hiring you. But it’s important that you know your limits. Don’t over step and make decisions you’re not qualified to make. For example, don’t offer a client or colleague legal advice if you aren’t a lawyer. You could end up getting yourself and the business in a lot of trouble. At the end of the day, how you behave at the office will contribute to whether or not you are successful at your job. People need to respect you and they can only do that if you respect them.

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