Starting a new job can be quite daunting and the first 6 months are a critical time during which enduring opinions will be formed about you. Here’s my quick list of 9 things every new employee should make sure they do to create the right impression and build a great new career.
1. Remember your ‘number one thing’
What was the main reason you were hired for? What is the number one reason why this job you have exists? Repeat it every day and put it at the front of everything you do. Ask yourself “is what I am about to do going to add value to the reason why I was recruited?” Try and avoid letting anything distract you from your main purpose.
2. Know your team
You are only as good as the team around you. Invest time in getting to know the people you work with, what are their key specialisms and personal competencies, find out what they love doing and try to tap into this expertise. Avoid competing with colleagues, instead help them get out of their roles what they want to and you will be paid back with interest.
3. Learn the culture
No matter how skilled you are, if you don’t share the same values as your new employer then you will never “fit in!” Focus on understanding what it is the company truly values, what behaviours do they recognise and reward and which behaviours do they frown upon, criticise or punish? By knowing these you are able to steer a path towards matching your DNA with theirs.
4. Ask for feedback
Considered to be the breakfast of champions, receiving frank and candid feedback on how well you are performing is the best way to keep doing good things well and improve elsewhere. Simply ask what is going well and what could be done better. When you get the answer, take the feedback in good spirit and use it to build with.
Don’t be a chatterbox but get out and about around your new environment and speak to colleagues, ask them about what makes them tick, what vision they share. Also stop and listen to what things are real like, these represent opportunities of improvements that you can be involved in further down the line.
6. Stay fresh and positive
There will never be another time in this new role where you are as motivated as these first 6 months. During this time list the things you really enjoy about the business, the people you work with and the products or services provided. Re-visit this list during those times you are feeling jaded, to remind you of what inspired you to join in the first place. If you are a prolific poster on social media, keep work comments to a minimum, out of working hours and only positive.
7. Maintain energy
Chances are you will throw yourself into your new job to start with, which is great but don’t burn yourself out, go to the gym, work out, walk, not only do these activities keep you fit and build your long-term stamina but they keep your head clear and allow thinking time off the job.
8. Have fun
Make sure you enjoy your new job, if your job is enjoyable then you never have to work! Appreciate your situation and take on tasks with a light heart and open enthusiasm. Try and keep smiling when it gets tough, the sooner the tough stuff is done you can go back to doing the things you like best.
9. Think like the boss
One of the biggest criticisms I hear from employees is that staff do not take ownership of their job, or problems. Think like the boss, look for potential solutions to issues and give your boss your intentions with reasons why you are going to do something, rather than keep looking for instructions.