Source | Fastcompanycom  |  BY:Rich Belils

You’re new. You don’t really know anyone other than your boss, a coworker or two, and the HR person who guided you through the hiring process.

Not only will you need some time to suss out the overall work culture, but the finer points of digital communication can be especially tricky to master. Here are a few Slack and email missteps to watch out for in those early days as you settle in.


There came a point sometime in my first few weeks in my first-ever job when my boss had to gently ask me to please try and write shorter emails. Apparently a coworker had received a Tess of the D’Urbervilles–length email from me and wasn’t interested in savoring my prose style.

When you’re new and want to show that you can be helpful and proactive (“Look! I already thought of that, let me tell you about it!”), there’s a risk of getting long-winded and wasting your coworkers’ time. But too quick or casual can be the wrong move, too.

“I had to learn to stop doing subject line–only emails after I left the New York Daily News,” Fast Company’s Digital Editor Anjali Khosla told me. At a city paper, she said, “People don’t mind that. But at a monthly mag, it was considered quite rude. Especially six years ago.”

One way to hit that “just right” sweet spot between verbose and curt? “Lead with the ask,” counsels Jocelyn K. Glei, author of Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done. “The goal is to get the reader’s attention and have them understand the action that’s being requested immediately,” she writes. As soon as the email you’re drafting accomplishes that, hit send.