Due to these trying economic times, a fact of life is that a lot of people have lost their jobs. Hopefully, the new year will bring new opportunities and job openings for these unfortunate workers. Starting out at a new job is both a difficult and an exciting time for any of us who have been there. But we certainly have to be wary of how we are perceived by our new co-workers. We also have to learn who we can trust and who can help us in our new job. Here are 5 tips that will help you get through this tough transitional time.
1. Don’t Be Too Aggressive
I distinctly remember being in a meeting with a brand new employee who made it a point to give suggestions and recommendations on any issue that came up in the conversation. It’s almost like he had to hear himself speak or he wouldn’t be satisfied. Little did he know that we had already discounted these suggestions during the early stages of the project to which that meeting was devoted.
It is important, especially for brand new employees, to listen a lot. Try not to come across as being overly aggressive because your co-workers will be turned off, especially before they have even gotten to know you. If you are asked for your opinion, offer it. Otherwise try to lay low until you get to know your fellow employees and they get to know you.
2. Remember Names
Salespeople have this one right. They make it a point to remember someone’s name after meeting them for the first time. I’m not sure why, but it takes me at least two times before I remember someone’s name. Then again, I’m not a salesperson, but I think that’s probably better than most. And, as far as making first impressions, we can’t forget the famous quote:
“You get only one chance to make a first impression.”
Making a good impression and remembering someone’s name, will go a long way to getting your working relationship off to a good start.
3. Learn the Landscape
First of all, you should get a copy of the org chart from Human Resources and make it a point to learn it. Knowing who reports to whom, will help you become familiar with all of the players in the organization. Knowing where to go to get help will be essential, not only to a new employee, but to a seasoned one.
Also, if you are aware of who reports to whom, it will help you to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes by inadvertently going over someone’s head. And you should always make yourself aware of whom the officers are in the company. Ingratiating yourself to them early on can certainly go a long way to securing your employment in the company.
4. Be Likable
Sounds pretty simple, huh? This is certainly a pet peeve of mine or maybe I’m just a little too sensitive. Maybe this is more difficult for some versus others but being likable is extremely important, especially when you are just starting out at a new job. One simple way to be likable, in a new work environment, is to simply smile and say “hi” when passing a co-worker in the hallways. It may sound like a very simple thing but, to this day, there are people at my work who simply don’t make it a point to be friendly.
And when you talk to other employees they will tell you the same thing. “What the heck is her problem?” or “What’s the deal with him?” Getting back to #1, you don’t want to be overly aggressive with your likability. This also happens at times. I worked with a guy once who spoke to everyone he met, within the first week, like he knew them for his whole life. This also turned people off. So, the advice is to be pleasant but don’t overdo it. It may sound easy but for some people it is not.
5. Offer to Help Out Your New Co-workers
The best way that you can ingratiate yourself with your new co-workers is to offer to help them out. You were hired because you have specific skills. Chances are, those skills can be used to help out other people at your work. Maybe you have been hired to work in the Finance department. If so, you are probably adept at using Microsoft Excel. The fact is, almost every employee uses Excel to perform their job functions. If you can leverage your skills in Excel to help out your co-workers, you are well on your way to fostering a positive working relationship. The employee you just helped may help you learn who you can trust and who you can’t at your new job.
These may seem like simple tips for the new employee, but you’d be surprised at how many people fail to follow these guidelines. A little common sense and a little likability can go a long way to getting you off on the right foot at your brand spanking new job.
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