Starting a new job can be exciting and stressful at the same time. And it’s natural for you to doubt yourself. Will I like my new job? Will my co-workers like me? Will I fit into their culture?
But your transition to a new job does not have to be full of anxiety. With careful planning and the right attitude, you can easily make a smooth career change.
1. Think about how you dress. This might be a good time to revamp your wardrobe so you dress according to the company norm.
2. 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.”
3. Sort out the office politics. But don’t align yourself with any one group. Instead stay above the fray and build your own social network by associating with many groups and networks across the entire organization. You can build these relationships by inviting your co-workers to lunch or coffee to find out about their jobs and get to know them personally.
4. Come to work early, stay late, and don’t call in sick. It’s important to demonstrate good work ethic and that you are not a “clock watcher.”
5. 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. And 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.
6. Don’t give unsolicited advice. Remember, at this point, you are the new kid on the block. A little humility will go a long way. If they want your advice, they will ask for it. And while you’re at it, avoid comparing your old employer to your new one. This never goes over well.
7. Learn the behavioural norms of the office. You are the one who is expected to conform to these behaviours, not the other way around. My guess is that there are a number of unwritten rules like: If you take the last cup of coffee, make a fresh pot. Don’t take other people’s food from the fridge. And if you caused the paper jam in the printer, fix it.
8. 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 and stop them from becoming a (bad) habit.
9. Don’t boast about your background or past accomplishments. It was fine to do this in the interview – that’s what you should do. But your co-workers will not be impressed. Don’t start this relationship off on a bad foot.
10. Be respectful of the person you are replacing. Regardless of why the previous person left (fired, retired, quit), you should never speak unkindly about that person, nor let others around you do so.
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Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and author. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career.” You can follow Gerry on Twitter @@Gerald_Walsh