Making the Most out of Your New Position

July 31st, 2012

Welcome to Day One of Your New Career!

Starting a new job is exciting as well a little scary. What will your manager be like? How about your co-workers? What will they expect of you?  The best thing you can do for yourself is to relax.

You know you have the talent, skills and the intelligence to be great. Just the fact that you made it through the interview process already says a lot about your abilities and how much the company likes you.  Now is the time for you to demonstrate all you have to offer.

Here are four tips to help you make the most of your new job:

1. Make a great first impression. First impressions are truly lasting. We form judgments as soon as we meet people. To create the right impression, really go above and beyond during your first few days on the job. Be outgoing with your co-workers. Ask lots of questions to understand your duties and your supervisor’s expectations. Take notes. During your first few days, demonstrate that you are really interested in being part of the team and doing a great job.

2. Be yourself. You were hired for the person you are. Don’t try to be anything else. Show your peers that you are genuine and sincere. Show your boss that you’re a professional, and someone who wants to be a team player. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your expertise. But at the same time, understand that you are the “new kid” and your first goal is to learn.

3. Always be learning. Whether you’re put into a formal training program or expected to learn on the job, your goal should be to get up to speed as quickly as possible. First, get to understand the details of your job duties. If you have questions about what to do, ask. Next, make sure you know your boss’ expectations and how your performance will be measured. And finally, make note of your co-workers and how they interact. One of the biggest challenges of any new job is learning all the corporate norms, so you can truly become part of the team.

4. Assess first, and then prescribe. Once you’ve had a chance to do your work and observe your organization for a while, you can really add some value.  As the new employee, you bring a fresh perspective to the company. But, don’t assume that what you did at a former employer will automatically work in the new culture. And avoid the temptation to say, “We did it this way at my last company.” However, when you spot opportunities for improvement, you may want to offer suggestions to your boss, or simply tell him/her, “I have an idea I’d like to share that might make our team’s work even better.”

And here are three things you should not do on a new job:  

  1. Don’t try to do everything yourself just to prove you can. This will lead to stress and quickly burn you out.  Instead, learn to work with your teammates and make sure they can rely on you.
  2. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes time to get up to speed in a new job.  Set small goals each day of things to learn or people to meet.  New situations are innately stressful, so try hard to manage that up front and you can minimize the effect.
  3. Don’t make assumptions. Remember, you are the new person in this culture.  Don’t assume that your way is the right way, that you are being brought on board to solve a problem, or that you have all the answers. Ask questions, absorb the answers and then share your ideas.

Preparation is key to a successful start in a new job. If you would like more tips on how to handle those important first weeks, contact the experts at Helpmates Staffing. We have more than 40 years of experience in coaching employees to long-term career success.

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