Being successful at your new job
Your first four to eight weeks at your new job are critical to your long-term success.
There are three types of strategies that can help you adjust to the workplace and learn about your new job:
- Passive strategies
- Active strategies
- Interactive strategies
Organisational manuals, documents, company intranet, website, industry magazines, employee handbooks and the organisational chart can all be useful.
Induction events, training, meetings.
Keep your eyes open and your mouth closed. You may obtain useful information by chance. Even if you think you know it already, listen and you might learn something new.
Make notes. Reflect on the information you gather to improve your understanding.
Ask your manager for a trainer if you haven’t been allocated someone. Use long-term employees to provide guidance and support.
Identify opportunities to get involved in projects where minimal learning is required. This gives you an opportunity to show your current abilities.
Go in at the ‘deep end’, get on with the tasks you are given, work hard and learn from the process.
Find opportunities to display your strengths.
Offer to help. Give information and advice to co-workers.
Observe interaction between people and notice what happens. Find a mentor. Use colleagues as examples and copy their behaviour.
Advertise your abilities to get your preferred role.
Take part in social events — but take care to remain professional.
Develop useful work-related relationships. Note down the names of people you meet. Set up meetings to find out what they do and how it relates to your role. Join professional associations.
Engage in small talk. Pick up information in passing.
Put in the effort to be seen as a team player.
Establish social relationships. Make eye contact, smile, and be courteous. Ask appropriate questions that show you’re interested.
Discuss and establish priorities. Set and agree on expectations with colleagues, superiors and peers.
Trade resources with colleagues in return for roles and projects.
Discuss experiences with other newcomers for comparison. Ask for feedback on performance.
Use a combination of strategies
You may prefer a particular strategy (eg, passive), but sometimes it will be appropriate to use different ones. If you feel uncomfortable with some of the suggestions, it may be useful to challenge yourself and extend the techniques you use.
On an everyday basis
- Make a commitment to on-going learning and up-skilling.
- Know what you want and what you have to offer - and let others know!
- Be aware of what your employer wants and be able to articulate and demonstrate your capability.
- Build rapport with your boss.
- Ask for more responsibilities.
- Develop mentor relationship/s.
- Keep a record of what you do that contributes to the team/organisation.
- Belong to a professional association and attend events.
- Network through colleagues, personal contacts and members of professional associations.
- Keep up to date with latest developments by reading industry magazines and resources relevant to your field of expertise.