You have arrived— it’s your first day on the new job. Wow, what an accomplishment! Everything is exciting and full of promise. Now that you have been selected to join the company of your dreams, it is good to keep a few tips on file to ensure a smooth entrance to your new job. Let’s take a look at some of the pitfalls that await new hires so you can start your new job off on the right foot.
What do you want from me?
Although you may already have a detailed job description, don’t assume that you know what is expected of you and how to excel. It is extremely beneficial for all new employees to ask for a meeting with their supervisor.
Be sure to explore key areas during your meeting: review the specifics of your assignment; get ideas on how to use your know-how to make a positive contribution; check on workplace challenges that may not have been divulged in the interview and application process; discuss your goals and ask for suggestions for staying on track. This kind of conversation at the outset can lay the foundation for a successful tenure devoid of the usual traps of uncertainty and miscommunication.
Start off in neutral
It is best to come on board as an independent entity. Although new hires may be tempted to join in the office gossip in an effort to fit in, it is advantageous to take your time and survey the playing field first. Regardless of all the fair and unbiased verbiage in the policy manual, every organization has its set of cliques. Such alignments can be detrimental to the careless newbie on the block. If asked for an opinion about someone, it is best to be impartial- as Sanjay D. learned.
“I had just started as an Editorial Assistant at a major publishing company,” D. explained. “I was thrilled to be invited to lunch by my team on my first day. During the appetizer, I was asked what I thought about the supervisor. I said she was professional, supportive and I looked forward to working with her. By the time we finished the entrée, I had a new set of enemies.”
Sanjay D. learned later that the said supervisor had a reputation for blatant favoritism. She routinely slipped her cronies the best assignments. His stamp of approval sent the message to the resentful team members that he was on her buddy list.
One common complaint about new employees, especially those with years of experience, is that they have a know-it-all attitude. This outlook is frustrating for managers, trainers and staff members. We all want to be recognized as knowledgeable, but it is not necessary to send constant reminders that we have skills. After all, recruiters are paid to find qualified people to play a vital role in advancing the organization. Recruiters do not keep a job by selecting incompetent people.
So shift into learning mode and soak up all the advice offered. You can design your own style after you have a firm grasp of current operations. Comments such as, “We did it like this at my old job,” should be reserved for that celebratory dinner with family and friends after work. Congrats on your new position!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Will Merydith