Tips for Fresh Graduates: Unspoken Rules in the Workplace


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Congratulations, you’ve finally earned your Bachelor’s Degree. The struggle doesn’t end there though.

You would need to find a job.

And once you find one, the challenge is in keeping it.

Now, each workplace has its own organization culture and traditions, but there are some common unspoken rules in most workplaces in Cebu City.

We will let you in on some of them.

Never Assert if You’re a Newbie

We get that some schools push you to always speak your mind and bring up ideas, especially if you think it will improve the organization’s processes. In theory, yes, that’s ideal. In practice, it will usually get you in trouble. The older members dislike know-it-alls. You’d be like the genius nerd in school who knows all the answers – or worse, insists on their answers.

Keep your head down, try to learn as much as you could about your new workplace and how the people behave before speaking your mind to a certain degree.

Never Say Anything Bad Against Anyone, Even if Someone Just Did

You know how most Cebuanos are himantayon and libakera?

You’re the new kid. Someone says something bad about someone else. Keep your mouth shut. Tempting to chime in, but don’t just don’t. You don’t know their relationship dynamics. In the end, you might turn out to be the bad guy.

Work at their Speed, not Yours

The organization is often likened to a machine. Gauge how fast or slow this machine works. I know it might be so tempting to show off. Well, fine, show off just a little. But in the end, you will have to adjust to the organization’s pace. You’re not working alone, you’re working as a part of a team. That would mean you either have to speed up or slow down, depending on how the team works too.

Know the Dress Code

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It may seem trivial to you, but it is not. Dress code is serious matter.

In Cebu, it might be tempting to just wear jeans and the lightest shirt you can find. But if your office says smart casual, smart casual it has to be. Respect the dress code.

Don’t overdress either. Well, nothing wrong with overdressing. I also read that you should dress for the position that you want, so if you’re already gunning for your VP’s position, then by all means, scrimp and save just to buy power suits.

Punctuality Speaks Volumes

You’re new so all eyes are on you. If you used to come in late for class and just get asked to recite the Panatang Makabayan as punishment, note that this will not be the case in your workplace. Be reliable enough to come in to work on or before the scheduled time. And take your lunch break within the stipulated hour/s too. Don’t bum around. Especially if you’re still trying to build credibility within your organization.

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