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Image: Vee Chin

If you’re a minion

Dress conservatively 
Even if you work in a creative environment, err on the side of caution and wear your “safest” outfit. This means no lace (it’ll look like lingerie), no skirts that are more than a palm’s width above the knee (you’re not out clubbing), no cleavage-baring tops (ditto) and no bra peeking out from under a translucent shirt. A fail-proof outfit? “A smart black dress,” says Joanne Chua, account director at recruitment consultancy Robert Walters (Singapore).

Don’t be a social butterfly
Jaya Dass, director of human resources, business support and life sciences at recruitment firm Randstad Singapore, says: “As a newbie, you’d want to establish rapport with your colleagues, but it’s best to sit back and observe them for the first few days. Also, don’t voice extreme opinions or engage in negative water-cooler conversations where colleagues are back-stabbing workmates.”

People should not smell you before they see you 
Perfumes are fine as long as they’re not overpowering,” says Joanne. Save anything strong for after hours.

If you’re the head honcho

Get out and about
Take time to meet with each of your staff , says Jaya. You want to learn as much as you can about your team and the challenges they face, so you can rectify issues that may be bubbling on the surface and gain your team members’ respect.

Don’t make or announce big changes
Give yourself time to settle in and allow your team to adjust to your management style before implementing any change – you need to reassure your employees first.

Keep your door open
If you have your own office, that is. “A closed door might signal distance and make it hard for your team to warm up to you,” says Joanne. So unless you’re having a confidential discussion, keep the door open – it’ll make you seem more approachable.

This story was first published in HerWorld Magazine May 2015.

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