what cultural things do you need to know to succeed when you’re new to white collar work?

Way back in 2012, someone wrote this to me:

Thank you for writing this amazing blog. Its a great resource for learning all the things that are and aren’t acceptable at work that I don’t think I could have learned anywhere else. Thank you especially for the post about how having or not having professional parents influences your own career. It was interesting to see all the different backgrounds people come from and how it still influences them.

So my question is, commenters on that post mentioned that there are “common sense” things that people who grew up in professional households know and things that people who didn’t make do at work that could make them appear “rough around the edges.” Would it be possible to give specific examples of these things?

For instance, Tax Nerd wrote that people who are from blue collar backgrounds often feel they have to work 8 hours at a salaried job even when it’s not busy because they’re more used to having their time managed, and that’s something I definitely do. In my mind, I know that that it’s the amount of work I accomplish and meeting deadlines that’s important and that working 15 minutes less once in a while when it’s not busy is okay, but it still makes feel very uncomfortable. So, would it be possible to talk about what other things are not acceptable at a blue collar job, but would be okay at a white collar job?

We tackled this back then, but I saw this come up on Twitter recently and thought it could be useful to explore again. So, readers, what are your thoughts? If you have personal experience with moving from blue collar environments to “professional” office environments (that terminology is terrible; why don’t we have better?), I’d especially welcome hearing from you.

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