A new position can be a great opportunity, but it can also lead to a lot of stress and apprehension. Without a doubt you want to prove that the company made the right choice in hiring you, and you want to make a positive contribution as soon as possible. This is your chance to develop great new work habits and discard those that may have held you back in the past. Below are three keys to making sure you get off on the right foot and that will help identify you as an asset to the company.
- 1. Take responsibility for your own training – while some organizations do a great job of onboarding new employees, far too many are content to drop a couple of manuals on your desk or hand you a video to watch. Regardless of how poor or how good your new employee training might be, remember that ultimately you alone will be held responsible for getting up to speed as quickly as possible. You can immediately provide extra value to the company by diving in head first and contributing far sooner than expected. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression; don’t let yours be of one who sits at their desk waiting for someone to show them what to do. Establish yourself as a self-starter and a go-getter. Avoid the water cooler and get to work.
- 2. Ask questions – don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions of your fellow employees. Most are more than willing to help an employee, especially during their first couple of weeks. Don’t waste this “honeymoon period” sitting quietly at your desk. Get out among your new teammates and learn as much as you possibly can about the business, the processes and any tools or technologies you will need to best accomplish your job. Don’t be afraid to ask what the person in your position before you did really well and what they could have done better. This will give you the opportunity to quickly exceed the expectations of both your team and supervisor. Asking questions will enable you to better be able to follow along in those early meetings as well, which will prove invaluable down the road.
- 3. Seek responsibility – Corporate America is filled with people who avoid responsibility at all costs. They’ll do anything they can to prevent being blamed for a failure or misstep. You can differentiate yourself by volunteering early on to lead a project or head up some research. Do you risk the sneers and behind the back whispers of the more established employees by doing this? Of course, but your goal should be to succeed, not to become the life of the party in your department. You will find others in the company who, like yourself, are seeking to do the best job they can to benefit both the company and their careers. These are the people you will be much better off having in your circle of influence than those who would ridicule you for moving forward in life (see “Your Inner Circle”).
Starting a new job is a chance for you to demonstrate your strengths. Don’t waste the opportunity by not being aggressive right out of the gate. If you will follow the steps above, you will be favorably noticed by those in higher ranking positions. Don’t be timid, but rather seize the opportunity before you in order to add value to the company and security to your future.
Question: Do you see a new job as a fresh start or simply as a pay check? You can share your comments with others below. If you’d like to explore this topic further, sign up for a FREE, no obligation 30 minute consultation!