Tanisha’s Tips: Are You Too Familial on the Job?
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Yesterday, I saw something strange. It was midday, and we were all buzzing along trying to close another issue. And bam: A co-worker with slippers on. Huh? Now don’t get me wrong. We are in a very familial environment. So I’ve seen this before, but it’s more forgiving when it’s 16 hours into the day or it’s the occasional Saturday. It raises the question: Are some of us a little too comfortable on the job? And what does that mean for our reputations? (Okay, that’s two questions, but you get my drift.)

I, too, have been admonished for my laissez-faire attitude on the job. I can be a little… loud. I’m from Philly, and as anyone from there knows, we sound like we’re from Down South (that’s them North Carolina roots) even when we grow up in the hood. Nonetheless, a co-worker once told me I needed to tone it down. Tone what down? This is who I am! That may be the case, but I soon began to realize that some saw me as the loud-mouthed chick. The point is, even when you think no one is watching you, they are watching your every move — co-workers, bosses, higher-ups.

So don’t become too comfortable on the job. Watch the loose and loud talk; wear appropriate professional attire at all times; keep emails short, succinct, courteous, and error-free; stop letting your mama, your daddy, your boo and your kids do daily drive-bys to your job; and stop dressing like you’re in the club (been there, done that and believe me, the fellas were not salivating over my brain cells). Last but not least, watch your tone. Everybody is not your girl or your boy. Treat everyone at the office with respect. You would expect nothing less.

Got a career question for Tanisha’s Tips? Email tanishastips@essence.com.

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