You might be lucky enough to immediately and effortlessly make lots of friends at your new job, handily accomplish all tasks assigned and be generously granted frequent pay raises.
And why shouldn’t you? But luck doesn’t have to be the deciding factor in the success of your new job. You’ve worked hard to get it, now here are some tips to keep it.
- Research the company. You’ve probably already done much of the necessary research on the company you’ve taken a position with to prepare for the interview process. Now try to get a feel for the corporate culture and philosophy. If possible, make contacts within your own social networks who may have inside knowledge of your new employer. The more you know early on, the easier the transition will be.
- Plan ahead. Make sure you know exactly how long it will take you to get to work in the morning, accounting for traffic and other delays. Fill up the gas tank the night before. Plan your attire; the first few weeks of a new job can be physically and mentally exhausting so you don’t want to leave these decisions until the last moment, causing unnecessary stress. Arrive 15 to 30 minutes early and stay until the majority of the staff has gone; you may be surprised to see how many of your colleagues work beyond the required hours. These extra few minutes will show your boss your dedication.
- Dress for the job you aspire to. Especially for the first few weeks of a new job, dress conservatively and professionally. If you’ve taken an entry-level position with a company and you aspire to move up the ladder, the most immediate way for your superiors to see this is to dress the part. Don’t underestimate first impressions. Always be prepared to meet with your directors and/or clients and dress accordingly. And don’t assume Fridays are casual dress day.
- Hold off on “helpful” suggestions. Be a sponge rather than a watering can for a while. There will be plenty of time for suggestions, but as the rookie, you need to respect the systems that are in place and work within them. Avoid, “we used to do it differently at my last job,” types of statements.
- Learn your co-workers names. This may be a challenge in a large company, but make every effort to learn the names of your immediate team members. Employ those pneumonic devices, make yourself a cheat-sheet, whatever it takes.
- Avoid office politics and gossip. Don’t engage, however tempting, in the office gossip. As in any social situation the workplace is full of rumors and gossip, but your mission is to steer clear of the whispering and remain professional and focused on your assignments.
- Track accomplishments. Keep a list for yourself of activities you are working on and your accomplishments. Even if you are not responsible for billing hours to clients, you may be asked to show your progress, especially when it comes to review time. If you work in a large office it may not be easy to get face time with your boss so he or she may not know what you are working on from day to day. Keep the lines of communication open; your boss is not a mind-reader.