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Starting a New Job? 9 Expert Tips to Guarantee Success

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Starting a New Job? 9 Expert Tips to Guarantee Success
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Starting a New Job? 9 Expert Tips to Guarantee Success

Congratulations on landing your new job! Starting a new job marks an exciting period in anyone’s career. It also comes with much curiosity and uneasiness. You’re probably wondering what to expect, and are a little nervous, too.

Having a queasy feeling during this transition is expected. Although you probably met your new supervisor and some team members in the interview process, working with them is a different ball game.

In his book Your First Thirty Days: Building a Professional Image in a New Job author Elwood Chapman writes, “Starting a new job – whether it’s your first or one of a series – is an important step in your career. Your mental set concerning this change in your life will have much to do with your immediate and long-term success. You must begin your new endeavor by accepting full responsibility for your behavior and growth in a new environment.”

You have probably heard the saying, “the first impressions are the most lasting.” It’s definitely worth making an extra effort to ensure you sail smoothly through your first few weeks on the job. We have compiled some helpful tips to ensure you adapt quickly to your new environment.

1. Start with Thinking Positive

Your new business hired you because they have confidence in you! They believe you can make significant contributions to the company.

Do you believe this yourself?

A fundamental component to succeeding in your new position is thinking positively. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, writes, “A positive mental attitude is a must for all who wish to make life pay off on their own terms. Nothing great was ever achieved without a positive mental attitude.”

 

Thinking Positive

To be more specific, a practice of thinking positively means that in order to accomplish good things and pursue happiness, we must constantly have positive thoughts and prevent negative thoughts from entering our minds.

Positive thinking also spreads good vibes and is contagious. People are more motivated to accomplish goals when working with a positive employee.

Successful entrepreneur Alexa von Tobel, the founder and CEO of LearnVest, and the author of the New York Times bestseller Financially Fearless, recommends being scrappy in order to get ahead in your new job: “Get up, dress up, show up, wake up excited for what’s coming, dress the part, and always show up ready to go.”

You stand to gain so much by bringing a positive outlook to your new job. Pessimism doesn’t achieve any of these benefits.

A fresh start deserves a positive mindset, doesn’t it?

2. Do the Basics

The first days of any job come with many initiation rituals.

Ask about the company dress code beforehand so you arrive dressed appropriately on the first day. Right off, you’ll be signing paperwork with Human Resources and meeting with the recruiter.

The Human Resources Department orients new employees to the company with special training. Take good notes during this time to remember important names and features of the business. This way, you’ll be able to focus on your job duties right away.

Even though many people are now working from home, showing up on time is still a must for video conferencing on platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet.

Take note that even video conferencing calls may have a dress code. Be sure to check your appearance beforehand to make sure you look polished and professional.

Be patient during this time. It will take several days to settle into your regular working routine. Particularly if you’re starting work remotely, you may experience initial technical glitches and delays. Be sure to check your computer and gadgets regularly for a smooth virtual initiation.

Be Confident

3. Be Confident

We may not realize it, but everything we do each day requires a degree of confidence. Even driving to work in 60 mile an hour traffic demonstrates a lot of confidence–both in ourselves and the others on the road.

Self-confidence is a belief that one can face whatever challenges life throws at us. Successfully facing the challenges of our new job requires tremendous self-confidence. Conversely, when self-doubt creeps in, work performance starts to dwindle.

Self-confidence impacts our relationships with employees. They see our optimism and belief in ourselves, and it makes them want to work collaboratively with us. The same goes for customers and clients. Our confidence convinces them we have value and something worthwhile to bring to the table.

Our professional reputations, ultimately, are impacted by our level of confidence. It puts others at ease and they like working with and being around us.

But that negative self-talk always has a tendency to creep in. The good news is, you don’t have to listen to it, because it isn’t true! According to David and Tom Kelly, authors of Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, everyone has a spark of creativity and can come up with breakthrough ideas.

It’s really about simply discovering what you have and being confident enough to bring it to the table. As you’re breaking in at your new job, the key is to discover and hone your skills with confidence.

Practice Social Media Etiquette

4. Practice Social Media Etiquette

Social media plays such a central role in our daily lives that it really can make or break you. It’s part of every aspect of our lives. You may have even learned about your new job through social media.

Bearing this in mind, Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, recommends learning the company’s social media policy. As an employee, everything you say and do on social media reflects back on the company. Gain a clear understanding of their policies, and even consider making your accounts private.

Develop a habit of thinking carefully before you share anything on social media. You don’t want to be the person who gets fired before starting the job due to irresponsible social media posts.

5. Immerse Yourself

On your first day, you want to be accepted by your colleagues and establish a good impression. In his book, Chapman recommends:

  • Admit you are nervous but demonstrate a sincere willingness to learn and adjust.
  • Don’t wait for others to be nice to you. Instead, extend your own hand of friendship.
  • Communicate an open, positive attitude through a smile and other gestures. When appropriate, enjoy a good laugh.

Apart from that, Forbes recommends taking your manager’s lead. “Whatever plans you have for your first day, follow your manager’s lead. S/he might budget the whole day for you to do paperwork and settle in, and s/he might not have any work assignments for you. Always offer to get started, but don’t push it because you don’t yet know enough about your manager or this workplace to second-guess anyone’s judgment. Just go along enthusiastically.”

From the first day on, make it an objective to build a solid relationship with your manager. Work on establishing an open, two-way communication with him or her. Ask questions and discuss any work-related issues or concerns at an appropriate place and time.

Time magazine suggests that you don’t have to overdo things and work overtime. The key is completing everything assigned and turning it in on time.

In addition, don’t forget to build a good relationship with your colleagues, as teamwork is crucial in every work culture.

Always Do Your Research

6. Always Do Your Research

Research played a central role in finding your new position. It brought you through a series of nerve-wracking interviews and landed you the job. But it doesn’t end there.

Chapman says every organization has its own special culture. This means that individuals who make up your new environment have their own customs, habits, and performance standards. To be fully accepted into their world, you will have to honor their ways of operating and adjust accordingly. You must become a part of the team to make a full contribution. If you isolate yourself, your contribution will be less than it should be.

Apart from what HR tells you, it is your job to gather correct information about the company’s customs, habits, and standards. Do this by exploring, observing, and familiarizing yourself with the new environment. Also, read the company literature that is available.

You can also be creative with your research; Red Lobster president Salli Setta suggests not eating lunch alone. According to her, lunch is a prime networking opportunity. You can make use of the lunch to ask, discuss, and share work-related things.

According to Milo and Thuy Sindell, the authors of Sink or Swim: New Job. New Boss. 12 Weeks To Get It Right, it is crucial to understand the rules because it ensures that you operate within the limits and boundaries of your new workplace. You don’t want to step on toes in your first weeks on the job. Crossing boundaries, albeit unknowingly, doesn’t leave a very good impression.

Listen to Learn

7. Listen to Learn

Listening is said to be the key to success in any working environment. In the first few days of your new job, you will receive special instructions, policies, and other critical work-related reminders.

Active listening allows you to acquire helpful information and understand a certain situation or person better. As a result, you are more aware of the work culture and can adapt quickly. Plus, it facilitates better communication and stronger interoffice relationships.

According to Glassdoor, active listening is an essential part of creating positive relationships at work. People tend to gravitate toward active listeners because they feel valued and respected when talking with them. Active listening allows you to get the most out of a conversation, versus zoning out when your colleague or employer shares.

In order to listen effectively, it’s important to face the speaker with engaged body language, and to make eye contact. Pay close attention to non-verbal cues, as their facial expressions and posture reveal a lot about what they’re really saying. Additionally, be sure to listen through the end of someone’s statement rather than interrupt.

Many of the same rules also apply in the virtual realm. However, in order to appear listening and engaged, be sure to look into the camera while speaking and listening during a conference call rather than at the screen.

If you work as a manager and with subordinates in your current role, active listening is essential, too. In fact, research suggests that a supervisor’s listening attitude and skill positively influence the working conditions and psychological stress reactions among subordinates.

Subordinates who worked under supervisors with strong listening skills reported that they felt more supported and experienced less stress than those who worked under supervisors with weaker listening skills.

This simply means that the more you listen, the higher the chance you have better, happier relationships with your colleagues.

8. Seek Out Ways to Help

Success in your new position in part entails settling in well with your colleagues.

In order to start out on the right foot, Harvard Business Review says it is good to proactively seek out ways to help your colleagues and bring an attitude of service to your job. This is the best way to boost your image, earn the respect of the people you work with, and develop leadership. Think ahead for new ways you can contribute to improving the company’s services and products.

Lending a helping hand among your colleagues gives the impression that you are a team player, doer, and eager to learn and grow.

This doesn’t mean taking on more than you can chew. As playing the role of the helping hand could be overwhelming in the long run, it is also essential to know when to turn down a request for help.

Seek Out Ways to Help

9. Do Your Job Well

Always do your job well, even if it is the simplest and the most uninteresting tasks like photocopying or organizing documents.

Wendy Stops, a director on the board of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, says this is the most fundamental piece of career advice she gives.

She explains, “When you do your base job well, it gives you license to be a bit more creative in how you do the bigger things. It gives you permission to put your hand up for things that are outside of the scope of your day-to-day job, providing you with additional opportunities. If people trust you can do the small things, they are more likely to trust that you can do the big ones, too.”

Additionally, Kara Goldin, the founder and CEO of Hint Water, suggests embracing the opportunities of an entry level position. While working as an executive assistant at Time, Inc., she enthusiastically completed any and all duties her boss asked of her–including shredding paper! She demonstrated initiative by suggesting additional helpful tasks as well. Now, Goldin is a valued member of the team. And she’s no longer Head Paper Shredder!

“Dig your heels in, and make a name for yourself,” she shares.

Current General Motors CEO Marry Barra started out as a hood and fender inspector at the age of 18. Her work ethic and attention to detail allowed her to rise through the ranks, all the way to the top. You never know where honest hard work will get you!

Do Job Well

 

Summary

 

Starting out in a new job is no cinch. Here are some central areas to pay attention to when starting a new job:

  • Start with a positive mindset. What good does negative thinking bring? Stick with a positive attitude as it yields positive results.
  • Do the basics. Show up on time and check with HR for paperwork and onboarding logistics. Whether you are reporting at the office or attending a virtual conference, dress appropriately.
  • Be confident. Exuding a strong sense of self is one way to build credibility and put people at ease.
  • Practice social media etiquette. Learn the company’s social media do’s and don’ts, and exercise caution before sharing things online.
  • Immerse yourself. Extend your hand in friendship and communicate with an open, positive attitude with the people you are working with. Next, take your manager’s lead and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
  • Keep researching. Even after landing a job, you still have much to learn about company culture and etiquette. Absorb knowledge through company literature, observation, and colleagues.
  • Listen to learn. Active listening allows you to acquire critical information that helps you adapt quickly to the work culture. Plus, it makes your coworkers like you.
  • Seek out ways to help. Seizing opportunities to lend a helping hand gives the impression that you are a team player, doer, and eager to learn and grow.
    Do your job well. Attention to detail leads to bigger opportunities

We hope you enjoy reading these tips as much as we enjoy compiling them.

There really is a lot that goes into making a successful launch into a new career or position, but with a focused mindset, it is well within reach. Best wishes and much success in your new job!

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