New Job, New You
By Lancelot Larsen
The time it will take you to become fixed into your new setting will vary depending on your personality and the place itself and its employees. You might be one of the lucky people fits in immediately no matter where you go. You can only follow Plato's advice and "Do best what you do best." Then you can follow Bobby McFarren's advice and "Don't worry, be happy." Otherwise, always learn the right way of doing things and find out who has authority so as to avoid working unnecessarily for the wrong person. Listen to the office grapevine and politics, but do not participate. Volunteer your time for projects that will make you stand out, but don't neglect your assignments. Never complain about anyone past or present, particularly bosses. Never rush out the door at the end of the day. Be open and positive at all times.
When starting a new job, find a mentor. Spend a reasonable about of time with someone who will give you daily guidance about the office and its operations and who will introduce you to others. Being introduced by someone already respected in the company will give you extra credibility. It doesn't matter if you work hard or introduce great ideas, what matters first and foremost at the beginning is whether or not you are accepted.
Don't be too rambunctious in trying to change the company or bombard co-workers will all your new, innovative ideas. Don't send the wrong message that you are an overbearing personality. Most offices have their own culture and to want to change it immediately will only alienate those already used to the way things are. Also, prevent yourself from saying, "That's not how we did it at my old company." Your co-workers will only think, "Well, you're not at your old company and if you liked it so much why didn't you stay there?"
Like everyone else in all places of employment, you will want recognition. So, naturally, you will want to accomplish great things and be recognized for it. Results are the best thing you can achieve as a newcomer. Be a "fixer." That's what will be most appreciated. You might be given unfinished business left by your predecessor, and it will do you good to fix those problems left behind to show you mean business to help the company.
The best thing you can do as a new employee is simply a job well done. You will always be under the watchful eye of the office and constantly analyzed. Keep your opinions to yourself because everything you say can and will be used against you at the office. Do not butt heads with anyone during this period of trial. Get as many people on your side if you want them to allow you to take the direction you desire in the future. If some work issue in particular makes you want to suggest change, do it very slowly and diplomatically. Apply ideas and skills learned at previous jobs, but don't try to implement old systems and concepts to a new environment.
Here is a list of ten qualities guaranteed to help you along at a new job:
- Temperance—Don't overindulge in time. Arrive at a time when it will be reasonable to leave later, don't stay longer than you need to, and don't always work through lunch.
- Sharing—Let others know that you are there to help them bear the load, but don't seem too eager or offer too many of your services or you will get a reputation if not get taken advantage of.
- Consideration—If you work closely with others, respect their space by keeping yours tidy, refraining from unnecessary noises, and maintaining good hygiene. You may not know what others are like, but you can at least act like you care about their feelings.
- Courage—Ask for help when reasonable and keep to the rules in performing duties.
- Honesty—Do not lie. If you are caught, you will lose all credibility… or worse.
- Voter—Do not be a politician. Despite what some others around the office think, your job is neither an election nor a game. Just work and get to know everyone and do not succumb to factions.
- Curiosity—Indulge in wonder around the office. Know everything you can about it. Be the office. Even master the filing system. Read all office literature.
- Camaraderie—Like your lacrosse coach once told you, there is no "I" in T-E-A-M. Care about your team. If one of them is having trouble rounding the oar, lend a hand. You might need the favor returned someday.
- Respect—Pretend you are meeting your in-laws for the first time. Be polite to everyone and communicate what will work or not between yourselves. Don't put off people as soon as you enter your work environment.
- Eskimo—Be cool and confident like you just built a solid igloo. Even though you might feel unsure inside, act like you have the blizzard under control. If you need a fire for security, that's okay. But keep it out of sight and within your chill zone.
How to Succeed in a New Job
Starting a New Job
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