Monday, December 15, 2014

5 Things to Remember in a New Job

As the economy improves, many people are starting new jobs and learning how to work for a new company and a new boss.

But what many don't realize is that your first few days on the job can set the tone for your time in that position, Complain about something on Day 1, and you may forever be labeled a whiner. Gossip about your old job in the first week and you may be seen as immature.

To avoid such damaging labels, let's look at ways you can perform with grace and professionalism in your new position, so you don't get a bad reputation that can hold you back.

1. Never badmouth a former employer. It may be tempting to spill the dirt to new co-workers or a new boss, but it always makes you look petty and rude. In addition, you don't know enough about your new surroundings, and the ex-boss who you trash talk may just be related to a new colleague.

2. Listen, listen, listen. You're going to have lots of questions when you start a new job, but don't start asking them until you've thoroughly heard what the other person has to say. Take notes on instructions regarding procedures, company policies, names, etc. This will show others that you're eager to learn, and will keep you from seeking information that was already provided to you.

3. Arrive early, stay late. This shows the boss that you're enthusiastic and committed to your new job and company.

4. Write down your questions. As I mentioned before, you're going to have lots of questions. But don't ask them every time they pop into your head, as your colleagues will grow weary of having their work interrupted so often with your queries. Instead, write them down and then ask a colleague or the boss to answer them when they've got 15 minutes to spare. (Never let more than a handful of questions pile up before you seek answers.)

5. Toe the line. This isn't the time to stretch your lunch hour past the allotted time, begin dressing drastically different than others in the office or start a petition to get beer in the break room. Your focus should be on showing that you're a team player, with respect for the policies and culture of an organization.

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