Starting a new job can be taxing. Any form of career change or life change for that matter will affect both your private and professional life.
Hereunder are 11 valuable tips for starting a new job. Applying these at your new jobs will help your adjustment process.
Listen More Than You Speak
To understand the culture of the business, you need to listen. Do not be too eager to speak but listen so that you can know how to position yourself in the culture of organisation.
Make notes in meetings and be particular attentive to your environment. This will give you valuable information so that you get a feel for what is acceptable and what is not.
Be punctual in arriving to work on time and at meetings. Be sure to meet and where possible exceed deadlines.
With that being said, do not set expectations too high though. If you are far exceeding deadlines within the first 90 days, the new deadline will soon become the standard mode of operation.
There may be instances where sustaining this may not be reasonable in the long run.
Adhere to Company Policies
As an example, if the company has a policy that lunch should be one hour, then ensure that you only take lunch for this time period. If the dress code is to wear black pants and white shirt, then follow the rule.
At times in organisations there may be more seasoned employees who may have earned the certain privileges to deviate from certain policies.
While it may be permitted on their end, it may not be well received if as a newcomer you follow them.
Therefore, it’s best to ensure that you adhere to company policies.
Choose Your Battles Wisely
When entering an organisation or any new environment, be weary of getting yourself into battles with anyone. Having too many disagreements could signal that you are difficult to work with and get along with.
A great example of someone who was careful about the battles in the workplace was Nelson Mandela. When Mandela was 23 years old, he got a job at a white law firm and was trying to get on his feet.
At the firm, one of the secretaries indicated that there were two new cups which was assigned to him and his colleague, Gaur Radebe for tea. Mandela communicated this to his colleague who did the opposite at tea time and drank from the older cups.
Refusing to offend neither parties, Mandela said he was not thirsty. The following is a quotation from his book where he described this scenario. This is a valuable life lesson for you and I.
“For a moment I was in a quandary. I neither wanted to offend the secretaries nor alienate my new colleague, so I settled on what seemed to me the most prudent course of action: I declined to have any tea at all. I said I was not thirsty, I was then just twenty- three years old, and just finding my feet as a man, as a resident of Johannesburg and as an employee of a white firm, and I saw the middle path as the best and most reasonable one” (p. 83).
Set Boundaries Early
Ensure that healthy boundaries are set with what is acceptable and what is not very early in your time with the company.
As an example, your role may entail your manager contacting you outside business hours for emergencies. Defining what constitutes an emergency is a good boundary to agree on from the outset.
What one person may deem as an emergency another may see it as trivial. Be clear upfront on certain expectations.
Take Input from Colleagues
Embrace suggestion and feedback from your colleagues. They may be able to tell you things that have worked well in the past and things that have failed. This could save you loads of time.
As an example if you are starting a new job as a manager, your team may know several things about the operation of the business that you do not. This could help you gain some quick wins during your first 90 days.
During training sessions or important meetings be sure to make notes. Depending on the organisation your onboarding may not be classroom session but a sit down meeting with a colleague.
Take lots of notes which you can review after the meeting.
It will be impossible for you to retain all the information that you hear. Taking detailed notes will also eliminate the need to go back to ask the same questions multiple times.
With the permission of your colleague, consider recording training sessions or meetings. Ideally, the more information that you can gather and review, the faster you will understand the business.
During meetings, seek clarity. Do not be shy to ask questions or ask that something to be repeated if you do not understand. It is more important that you are sure or what you need to complete than to execute a task incorrectly.
Be Prepared to Sacrifice Some Extra Time
Depending on the nature of the job, you may need to sacrifice some of your personal time especially during the first 90 days. This is just part of the process of starting a new job especially in fast pace environments.
As an example, if you get a role in Sales, then learning the product is your top priority. This may be difficult or near impossible to do during the hours or work. So be prepared to sacrifice evenings and weekends to ensure that you get up to speed quickly.
Choose your Associates Wisely
Be selective in choosing the persons within the organisations who you associate with. Avoid gossipers and individuals who complain and are negative about every process or policy.
Observe individuals who are excelling at their roles who could be possibly mentors or who would be open to sharing information that could help you adapt quickly to your new role.
Look at areas where you can make you mark in the role. Is there a process that could be improved? Is there a new approach that you can implement which can save time and costs to the business? Seek out ways that you can elevate your current role.
However, only implement new processes with the approval of your manager. Making too many changes too soon depending on your working environment could be a recipe for disaster. However, don’t sit back. Be observant and seek the right balance.
There are several other articles on this blog which you may find useful as you start your new job. Feel free to click on any of the links below:-
How To Calm Your Nerves Before Starting A New Job
A Heartfelt Prayer To Say When Starting A New Job
31 Inspirational New Job Quotes and Sayings
13 Important Questions That You Must Ask Your new Boss
10 Tips For A Young Persons Starting In The Workplace
How to Survive The First 90 Days In A Job As A Manager
Congratulations on starting your new job. Trust this phase of your career will be exciting and rewarding. Hope these 11 tips provide you with valuable input to make this transition successful.
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