9 Tips for Starting a New Job

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Photo credit: @fbleephotos

Starting a new job is never easy. Because you are the newbie, people are constantly critiquing and forming opinions. Making a good first impression will pay off and set you up to succeed long term. As a current newbie at my job, the following tips will help you to fit in quickly and win the staff over.

1. Accept anything that people want to teach you– This can be particularly hard if you already have the skill. However, your way may not be the way the office prefers. It is important to accept that transferrable skills make you easier to train, but you still have to be trained.

2. Accept criticism-the first few weeks are filled with “just so you know…” and “you missed this” conversations. Instead of defending your actions, the best thing to do is accept the criticism. I always think its great to thank the person giving you a heads  up. In the long run, it will make coworkers trust you more.

3. Swallow your pride– Even if you are the best worker in the room, you have not proved that yet. So understand that you have to earn the trust and respect of people around you. You do not want to come off as “power-hungry” or threatening to your coworkers. So mentally prepare yourself to be the low man on the totem pole.

4. Try to make connections– Getting to know your coworkers as people is beneficial in every way. They will be more understanding if you have an emergency, they will be more willing to help you out, and you can make an impression.

5. Avoid any gossip– If someone mentions office drama, pretend it didn’t happen. This is often the case in small offices. Do not partake in these conversations beyond a nod or “oh”. Adding fuel to a fire is always a mistake. As the new person, you have no place involving yourself in office rumors.

6. Have a smile of your face- Body language is powerful. Facial expressions are powerful. As humans, people that smile are more approachable. In the workplace they seem more appreciative of their job. Find something to make you smile, and go with it.

7. Ask your co-workers if you can help them- Being a team player is everything in the work environment. Jump in, help where you can, and ask those around you what you can do. The impact this can have on a workplace is awesome. Those people will likely return the favor and help when you need it.

8. Don’t try to make changes initially– Even if your ideas are amazing, take the time to learn everything about the current systems. Be interested in their way, and once you have proven yourself, then you can make suggestions. Coming in hot at a new work environment and constantly criticizing or trying to make changes will make you the bad guy.

9. Follow the rules– Even if the rules are frivolous, follow them. I’m not even talking about the “employee handbook” rules. I mean the office politics rules. If someone tells you that a certain thing will irritate someone, try to walk the line. It will benefit you in the long run.

Being new sucks, but we are all new at some point. Figuring out how to start off on a good foot will help to alleviate some stress. Give yourself a break if you aren’t instantly great at everything and remember that attitude trumps all.

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