You just transitioned to a new job, it’s a great opportunity, and you don’t want to mess it up. You know that you have to work hard at the outset, and that it’s important to position yourself for success in your new work environment. But how can you do that? Here are five crucial things you need to do.
1. Relax and observe.
Sure, you want to “hit the ground running” and make a great impression the minute you walk in the door, but before you decide that, you need to take some time to thoroughly understand what’s going on at your new company and how things are done. While you might think you can quickly “tear it up” and rise to the top in record time, you might first have to deal with a bureaucratic maze, navigating it in order to sell all your new initiatives. Or, you might not realize that your mere presence can be viewed by some long-term employees as a personal threat. So, maybe you have to take it a bit slowly at first, asking for feedback from and collaborating with your new coworkers before you start proposing new initiatives. The moral here is to understand the corporate culture before you attempt to disrupt it.
2. Respect everyone.
Just because someone appears to be a low-level reception-type person doesn’t mean that they don’t wield a lot of power. From the parking lot attendant to cafeteria personnel, ensure that you go out of your way to communicate with and respect everyone you come into contact with at your new job. As any restaurant employee knows, the dishwasher is many times the most important person in the operation even though he or she may be the lowest paid.
3. Find out who makes a difference.
Don’t think that the head of your department is the only person you need to impress. Take any and every opportunity you can to make sure the C-level execs (and other level execs) know that you exist. Work on your networking skills. Talk to them in the elevator, in the hallways. Introduce yourself if you haven’t met someone. It’ll make a huge difference.
4. Do more.
Don’t try and figure out the minimum time you need to be at work to be successful. Instead, show that you’re willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. Come early, stay later, small talk with your peers, and reinforce the hiring manager’s decision to bring you aboard. Try not to take sick or vacation days until you have become established. The last place you want to be seen is the HR office trying to max out your benefits during your first month at your new job.
5. Communicate with friends and family.
Make sure you communicate with your friends and family about your plans and strategies to approach your new job opportunity. No matter if you’re single and living in a small Milwaukee studio apartment or if you have a family to support and live in the suburbs of Chicago, let the people in your lives know that you’re going to be at the office for longer-than-normal-for-you hours. Then make sure to explain the reasons for this change. Let them know that while you will probably work more at the beginning of your new job, your hours will likely normalize after a period of time.
Remember that the cliché “be careful what you wish for” can definitely apply to a new job, as your position may come with additional pressures and responsibilities that can add significant stress. No matter how many hours you work, make sure that you get enough sleep, keep exercising, and eat right. To make your new job opportunity work, you’ll not only have to manage those around you but also take care of yourself.
Sam Radbil is the lead writer for ABODO Apartments, an online real estate and apartments marketplace with available apartments from college towns like Athens, Georgia to major cities like Los Angeles, California. Their research and writing has been featured nationally in Curbed, Forbes, Realtor.com, HousingWire, and more.
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