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Starting a new job can be a scary experience. How will your coworkers view you? Will you know what to do when the time comes? Here’s a few tips to help you out, especially if you in a managerial and/or people type of job. This is inspired by my recent experience Seven Mistakes In One Day, where one poorly thought out comment triggered an angry mob, and the article How Much Money Is Integrity Worth?.
1. Get To Know Your Coworkers – This is especially important if you are a manager, as you will need the full support of your team to get anything done. You need to spend time with the people you work with, in order to build up the relationship, so that there can be trust when something needs to get done. How can you trust Jim with that really important assignment if you don’t know anything about him? How can your boss give you any responsibility if he doesn’t trust you?
2. Learn Your Coworkers’ Names – Preferably Before You Go To Work – It’s pretty embarrasing when someone walks by you and says, “Hi your_name”, and you just stand there wondering what their name is, and then slowly mutter “Hi”. You can bet this person won’t be very enthusiastic about helping you the next time you need something from him/her. Besides, what if he/she is facing away from you, and you need to speak with them about something? Are you going to tap on their shoulder to get their attention? Or stand there awkwardly until they notice you?
3. Smile – You’re opening a new, exciting chapter to your life, full of opportunities and wonders. You’re not going to visit the dentist. Express your happiness at being in the presence of your coworkers and let them know it’s a joy to be able to work with them.
4. Be Enthusiastic – As a follow up to smiling, look like you’re having fun (why shouldn’t you be?). Be eager to help your coworkers if they need anything. Show your desire to improve whatever you’re working on. Let people know that you are there to help them if they need it. Who would want to deal with you if you’re always like “Meh…”. I was once hired for a position in college precisely because I displayed enthusiastism. The lady who hired me told me that all the other candidates she interviewed were all kind of “bleh” and that I wrote a long and well thought out letter. I replied, “So when do I start?” and she replied, “Tomorrow”.
5. Have Your Papers Ready – Are there some forms that need to be signed? Do you have your id # for the new hire orientation you are attending? While it’s probably not the end of the world to not know your drivers license number when they ask you to fill out the insurance forms, you should show the people you work with that you’re prepared.
6. Dress For Your Job – Make a good first impression, so that people don’t start wondering whether they can rely on you to get something done. Granted, if you’re in a technical type of job, t-shirt & jeans might be just fine. However, if you are the new CEO and you are going to make a presentation to 1000 people, you can bet some of those guys will be annoyed if you’re wearing a t-shirt. It’s a lot like the Seven Mistakes In One Day experience above. In a large group of people, a small % is going to be angry at you for certain mistakes, but they will be very vocal about it, and it might just suck up a large amount of your time and energy.
7. Review Any Relevant Material – Since you’re going to be doing something soon, might as well hit the ground running. It’s hard for any of the other stuff above to work when you’re like “What? Wait, what was that thing again? I sort of remember us talking about it a while back” for a couple of things. At least be familiar with the general areas of what needs to be done, and be prepared to start doing them.
8. Do Your Job, And Do It Well – You were hired to get things done. All that emotional bonding is completely meaningless if you can’t contribute to the welfare of the organization. That’s what you are here for, so show them why they hired you!
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