The Art of Business Casual is Hard but Oh So Important

I was taught to address people by their last names, say thank you (not thanks), and to speak properly in work and educational settings. I thought speaking formally was a way to show my respect for those I work with, but I was perceived as unfriendly and not confident. Speaking too politely made it difficult to foster lasting relationships with my peers and supervisors. What made it worse is that I rarely talked to them about anything besides work. After I started a marketing internship, I quickly learned that speaking so formally was killing my business relationships.

Iron Mountain has a very social culture. Messages between new contacts have a vibe of familiarity. Conference calls begin and end with small side conversations about new foster puppies or the recent winter storms. A cheerful “Thanks! :)” pops up at every available opportunity.

The friendliness of my coworkers has created a work environment that is accepting of ideas and questions, which is something admire and hope to emulate. I still struggle with water cooler conversations, but I see improvements in my business relationships as I learn to talk more casually.


2 thoughts on “The Art of Business Casual is Hard but Oh So Important

  1. Amelia P says:

    I think everyone feels the same way at some point, I know I did when I started my new job! Just let it come naturally, if you feel like you’re trying to be someone you’re not, then it’ll come off that way. Be yourself and be open to how others are and I’m sure you will do great! Best of Luck!


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