August 29, 2011

New Job? How to Wow ’em in the Workplace

New Job FireworksCongratulations, you have a new job! There is nothing quite as exciting, but it can be intimidating. This is your chance to begin anew and build your reputation from scratch.

Starting out at a new company, all eyes are on you – and you only get one chance to make a great impression. Your first few actions set the tone for your future engagement and potential growth within the organization. As a new employee, it’s essential to establish yourself as a critical resource, a team player and someone to be taken seriously. Your likability and initial involvement will open doors for you in the long run…read on for some of the ways to get ahead in your new job immediately:

  1. Show interest, be positive: With any new job, it’s important to mesh with the established organizational culture. Prove that you’re a team player by showing enthusiasm and intrigue for new assignments and the overall company atmosphere. When you meet and greet the rest of the workforce, be friendly and listen intently to everyone.
  2. Foster coworker cooperation: Be cordial and friendly during your introductions. As you get to know people, stay out of arguments and don’t get involved in employee disagreements. Larger organizations can be a political minefield – don’t get caught between petty allegiances and feuding parties. Be a team player and try to stay on everyone’s good side.
  3. Be open to new ideas: Embrace different opinions and take all the advice you can get. Your coworkers and supervisors possess valuable expertise that can help you adapt to your new business environment. For any new job – don’t rely too heavily on “the way you used to do things,” or “sticking to your guns.” If you get caught up the old mentality from your last job, you’ll never adapt to the new company culture. Fresh starts require fresh ways of thinking. Develop new insights and align your goals accordingly.
  4. Talk to everyone: Proactive networking is the cornerstone to any successful career. Its important to introduce yourself to the right people and leave lasting positive impressions. At the same time however, get to know everyone at your organization as every connection has something to offer.
  5. Read everything you can: In particular if this is a new industry or profession for you, be sure to come up to speed fast. The grace period for understanding terminology needed to do a job is shrinking. Employers just don’t have the resources to invest in long training periods – they need productivity immediately. Invest in yourself by devouring any information you can get your hands on. Jump on the Internet, go to the library, talk to industry veterans – whatever it is, do everything you can to become acclimated and comfortable with your job skills and knowledge as fast as possible.

Starting out as a new employee can be a period of real personal and professional growth. It’s important to tackle it head-on as you would any big personal event in your life. Take your new job seriously and make it your first priority to quickly become a valuable employee. Try not to judge yourself against your status as a new employee – instead, try to become the most valuable employee and team-member, period. It will take some work, but starting out your job with a bang can have a tremendous impact to your long-term career potential with the new company.

Read more in Starting a Career

Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.