There are morning people, and there are those who curse the sunrise. But we all have to get up and go to work. Especially in your entry level sales job, you need to make a good impression. For the grumblers, no one is expecting you to stroll into the office with a wild grin and cartoon bluebirds perched on your shoulders. Here are some tips to get your workday started right.
1. Stick to a routine: Whatever best prepares you for the day, get to it. If you’re a get-up-early-and-exercise type, do it — as long as you allow enough time for it. If ironing your clothes to a precise crisp, or downing an entire pot of coffee is what gets you going, go for it. Walk the dog, read the paper (try it, young’uns, it’s fun!), get lost in Matt Lauer’s eyes — whatever works, just make sure it leads you to tip No. 2 …
2. Be on time: Never be late for work or a meeting. Simple as that. Showing up late looks bad any way you slice it. Your supervisor will lose confidence in you. Your co-workers won’t respect you. Your clients may turn to other companies that know how a clock works. Bad traffic? Daylight Saving Time? Zombie apocalypse? Anything you can use as a lame excuse will come off as just that.
3. Be friendly: Remember the overly chipper waiter in Mike Judge’s 1999 comedy Office Space? The one that sounded like a game-show host after 12 energy drinks, asking if some sourpuss “case of the Mondays” diners wanted some pizza shooters, shrimp poppers or extreme fajitas? Don’t be that guy. No one likes that guy. But being relatively friendly in the morning can help set the tone for the office. Growling about your commute or the weather or the tasks of the day won’t endear you to anyone in the office. Smile. Say “Good morning.” Be nice.
4. Make a list: As elementary as it sounds, making a list when you sit down at your desk can be a big help throughout the day. Put everything you have to do on there first — assignments, meetings, presentations — then add tasks you hope to get to as well. There’s a small sense of satisfaction when you can cross each one off the list. At the end of the day, a crossed-out list can help you leave the office with a skip in your step. Try not to actually skip out the door, however. That would be weird.
5. Lay off Facebook: It’s natural to want to see what’s going on in your network of friends around the time the workday starts. But your supervisor won’t be thrilled if that’s priority No. 1 when you get to the office. If your addiction is that strong, check FB before you leave the house. Just don’t get hypnotized by it. Don’t engage in a dumb political debate, or feel the need to upload your entire childhood scrapbook. People are waiting for you at the office.