Best networking practices in Sydney

The networking etiquette in Sydney
Updated 2023-05-13 19:35

Aussies are usually very welcoming, and it can seem easy to get along with them compared to other cultures that might be more formal or reserved. However, one still needs to know the basic Australian networking etiquette to avoid any mishaps. On the whole, there's no great mystery to how to behave in Sydney, but if you're feeling out of your depth, we recommend asking a close colleague or friend if you need any pointers. Remember: generosity and friendliness will get you a long way.  

General behavior in Sydney

Being an expat in Sydney, it is vital that you know the basic networking etiquette in your new country so that you don't step on any toes or rub people the wrong way. Just a simple warm handshake, a smile, and strong eye contact will usually be all you need to make a good impression. In Sydney, as in the rest of Australia, people prefer to use first names. It is not a culture that values formality – though this doesn't mean you should slack off in terms of general good manners and punctuality.

Greetings in Sydney

Greetings here are not rocket science. Smiling, shaking hands, and saying a simple hello or even “g'day” when you introduce yourself. In Sydney, people usually call each other by their first name (even their managers or people older or much more senior), and it is not seen as being rude or overtly casual. The word “mate” is thrown around a lot, and it's not uncommon to use this even in more formal settings as it is an ingrained part of Australian lingo.

Communicating in Sydney

Communicating in Sydney is simple and straightforward, reflecting the Sydneysider's tendency to be casual, humorous, and go straight to the point when talking. They appreciate honesty in both opinions and actions. In general, Australians value simplicity and brevity in business conversation and may not be inclined to get into “deep” conversations” unless you know them well or it's relevant to the situation. Avoid bringing up politics or religion unless the topic is natural to the conversation. Arrogance and being uptight or easily offended is also looked down upon in Australia. You will generally make a good impression if you aim to be open, relaxed, and forthright with people. Being able to “take a joke” is also something Australians value, and they can tease or give each other a hard time in a way that can seem harsh if you aren't used to it. Be prepared to encounter this kind of banter and ribbing, but don't feel like you have to endure anything that actually offends or upsets.

In Sydney, connections are very important. Because it's a relatively small city, it is imperative to get along with everybody. You never know when your paths will cross again, so always be cautious and polite and friendly to everyone. Sometimes it's tempting to bond with people over the dislike of another colleague or competitor, but in the long term, you will be better served if you can avoid gossip and being caught up in petty internal politics.

Punctuality, dress code and etiquette in Sydney

Be punctual. Being a couple of minutes late is often tolerated in Sydney, but if you are over ten minutes late and do it frequently, then it can appear as if you don't respect whoever you are meeting.

Dress codes are lenient at informal gatherings, and office attire will vary depending on your workplace. Follow the cues of your workmates, but it can never hurt to make an effort.

Little presents are often exchanged at birthday celebrations and Christmas, and it's common to have morning tea at work when someone has a birthday. These don't have to be big gestures but can be a nice way to show your appreciation for someone. If you are invited to somebody's home for dinner, it's a good idea to bring chocolate, or a bottle of decent quality wine, or perhaps some flowers.

Business meetings in Sydney

Business appointments and meetings in Sydney remain pretty casual. Present your business case succinctly, and always make sure you have done the required research and have the necessary stats on hand. For meetings, usually, business attire is expected unless you work in a more casual industry. If you're unsure – ask someone. It's better to ask than turn up somewhere and get it wrong.

The national culture

Australians tend to be rational rather than spiritual, direct rather than discursive, and humble rather than arrogant. On the whole, simplicity and authenticity will get you a long way. If you try too hard to impress, overdress, or behave with too much formality or extravagance, you are likely to make a bad impression. Australians favor those who are sincere, self-deprecating and funny. They do not believe in showing off academic or other accomplishments and may dislike or make fun of those who boast too much of themselves.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.