Ensuring success when starting a new job
Starting a new job is both exciting and terrifying. Across sectors or years of experience, the first-day jitters are all too real and universal. Succeeding not only means being good at your new job but learning a different set of rules and cues – dress codes and behavior, systems and processes, or just operating the new coffee machine.
Despite everything that could go wrong, it is important to focus on the exciting opportunities to come. There might be several things beyond your control. But there are also plenty of ways you can ensure success at a new job from the start.
Professionalism and an open mind
Start new beginnings by creating a lasting first impression. Treat the first few weeks as an extended interview period. Use the time not only to present yourself in the best light but as a window for learning. Every interaction is an opportunity to understand, grow, and eventually contribute.
Proving yourself all over again as the new person can be daunting. It is easy to inadvertently fall into the trap of taking on additional work and responsibilities. While this is perfectly acceptable sometimes, it is equally important to manage expectations right from the start. Clarify boundaries with regards to additional responsibilities, working hours, and how much of the office you can bring home.
Start developing timelines and plans from the start. The induction period may seem breezy but it won’t be long before deadlines and tasks start to pile up. Take stock of your responsibilities, and address each one on a priority basis. Create time blocks in a day to address items that need looking at daily or weekly.
Build relationships at the workplace without being the new person who tries too hard. It is always helpful to make meaningful connections around work, at least in the beginning. Stay open and friendly without getting personal. Learn people’s names and what they do. Join team lunches, happy hours, or an office sports team.
Since the goal is to earn respect and trust, embody these qualities by being a team member people can rely on. Build fantastic professional relationships to begin with and gain some great friendships along the way.
Landing a new job is just the first battle won. Avoid complacency by identifying additional skills and knowledge you might need to excel in the new role. Perhaps you may need to attend training or get a certification. Approach new experiences with an open mind. In order to succeed, evaluate whether you may need to change preconceived notions or learned behaviors.
Go the Extra Mile
You might not have all the skills and experience to succeed early on. What you do have in abundance are the will and determination to excel. Demonstrate initiative by working hard and getting the job done. Ask questions and offer help wherever needed. People will always remember you for trying, even if you may not have the necessary skills yet.
Learn from high performers
Identify who the high performers are and what makes them tick. Do they work harder or smarter? How do they approach conflict or decision-making? Are they individual contributors or intrinsic to a team? In tune with their philosophy, each company will have a different notion of top performers. While it is not necessary to toe the line, knowing what to expect makes all the difference.
Remember that you were hired for a reason. Channel those skills and enthusiasm to advance the company’s objectives and goals. Doing what you know best will automatically gain you recognition. When the time comes, conceptualize unique passion projects that address both organizational and personal goals.
Take small steps and focus on the essentials before jumping all in. More importantly, enjoy the journey and spend less time worrying about getting everything right. Working hard will bring you the success and recognition you deserve.