Before starting any new experience, ask yourself, “What do I need to know?” ~ jaywren
Starting a New Job
The first few weeks in starting a new job are critical. You must establish yourself as a great hire. Moreover, while people are forming impressions of you as a new hire, you are faced with many challenges. To deal with the challenges, the first step is learning what to expect. The second step is learning how to prepare for and handle new situations.
Here are steps for gaining support and respect at your new job.
Seize upon small wins. You bring with you experience, qualifications, and skills. Use those traits and skills to draw positive attention to you. If there is a task or project that enables you to shine, take on these responsibilities. Some of these small wins can relieve you of the pressure of succeeding in areas where you feel more challenged.
Impress your boss. Do the job your boss expects you to do. Make your number one priority to do the things that your boss has told you to do and in the order in which your boss directed you. Let your boss know when you complete each task. When you are giving your boss more information than you need to give, your boss will let you know.
Build positive relationships. Create a chart of the organization. Learn who does what and who reports to which person. Treat everyone with respect. Do not poison a relationship with anyone. You may later learn that the maintenance manager is a scratch golfer who is the golf partner with a board director at the annual company golf tournament. However, do not waste your time listening to everyone who wants to talk with you. Forge relationships with people who can help you with a successful start.
Some of the people who are junior to you will help you understand your job and your new company.
Moreover, turn to others for their experience and intelligence. Often, they will bond with you over your interest in seeking their help.
Write it down. Make a list of the names, the contact information, the jobs, and the relationships of the people you meet. When your boss tells you to do something, write it down. Write the task and the action date.
Get in step. The first weeks of the new job are an orientation. You will meet new managers, new co-workers, and, perhaps, new people who work on your team. You will learn the details of your responsibilities. Moreover, you will get a measure of the authority you have in managing your new responsibilities.
Learn the company culture and way of doing things. Do not try to change things until you have established yourself in the job for which your company hired you.
Become a sponge. Avoid giving your opinion when you can listen and learn. You don’t have to try to prove how smart you are.
Be open to new ideas. A dangerous pitfall for experienced people is to do things the way they did them at their former employer.
For example, when I entered sales in the consumer products industry, I sold facial tissue, bathroom tissue, and disposable diapers. Except for facial tissue, the products I sold were daily consumer goods. Consumer demand was the same throughout the year.
When I left that company, I went to a company that sold cameras and film. The transition for me required adapting to different selling cycles and new methods of projecting sales. During the holidays, the photography retailers would sell as much in a day as they sold in a month during non-holidays. A day of film sales during the holidays was as great as a month of sales the rest of the year.
Prioritize tasks. Before starting each day, make a list of five things you want to accomplish that day.