Starting a new job can be exciting and stressful at the same time. It’s natural for doubts to creep in. Will you like your new job? Will your co-workers like you? Can you do the job? How can you make a good first impression?
But the transition to a new job does not have to be full of tension and anxiety. With careful planning and the right attitude, you can easily make a smooth career change.
1. Introduce yourself to everybody and learn your co-workers’ names quickly. If you forget someone’s name, simply say, “I’m sorry but I’ve forgotten your name.”
2. Ask good questions and listen more than you talk. Adopt an attitude that you know almost nothing even if you were brought in to make a change.
3. Ask for help when you need it. You are not expected to know everything from the start. If you don’t understand instructions from your boss, ask for clarification.
4. Don’t boast about your background or past accomplishments. It was fine to do this in the interview. But your co-workers will not be impressed. Don’t start this relationship off on a bad foot.
5. Avoid comparing your old company to your new company unless all your stories are about how much better your new company is – in which case it is fine to compare.
6. Learn the behavioural norms of the company. You are the one who is expected to conform to these behaviours, not the other way around.
7. Sort out the office politics. Stay above the fray and build your own social network by associating with many groups and networks across the entire organization.
8. Don’t give unsolicited advice. Remember, you are the new kid on the block. A little humility will go a long way. If others want advice, they will ask for it.
9. Be respectful of the person you are replacing. Regardless of why the previous person left (fired, retired, quit), never speak unkindly about that person, nor let others around you do so.
10. Ask for regular feedback from your boss. Find out how you’re doing and ask for suggestions on how you can improve. You will be better off if you deal with problems early.
11. Plan your arrival. If possible, take some time off before starting your new job. That will give you time to rest and to sort out transportation, child care, and any other personal matters related to your new job.
12. Use this as an opportunity to make other changes in your life. Moving on to a new job can be the perfect time to make other changes in your life, such as re-focusing on your health and fitness or building new relationships you had avoided for years.