Monday, November 15, 2021

How to Get Off on the Right Foot When Starting a New Job

If you've just gotten a new job, congratulations! A lot of people are starting new positions, and that's something to celebrate.

But before you think you've got it made, remember that your "interview" process continues after you begin the job. While you may not sit across from a hiring manager and answer questions, you will still be under scrutiny in your first weeks and months in a new position.

This time, however, there are going to be more people watching what you do right -- and wrong. From co-workers to subordinates to bosses, you need to be prepared to make the right moves in order to garner trust and good working relationships.

Here are some ways to get off on the right foot:

1. Ask questions -- and write down the answers. It gets on everyone's nerves when the new kid asks the same questions over and over. Writing down the answer will show that you respect everyone's time. It's OK to go back to someone with a follow-up question, but always remember to write down that answer. 

2. Never assume anything. Make sure you know your working hours, where to park, which entrance to use, etc. It's also critical to make sure you fully understand any security or safety protocols, so make sure you have written confirmation or have been walked through those processes. If not, ask.

3. Be open. Greet each new person with a smile and graciously accept any offers of help. You don't want to appear inept, but you also don't want to brush off someone who wants to show you a process or share a resource. Remember the offer of help is more than that -- it's a way of establishing a friendly working relationship and that's critical. At the same time, accept lunch or after-work invitations in the beginning. You can slowly cut back once you've been there a while.

4. Don't hash over old grievances. Whether it's former co-workers or bosses, don't badmouth them. Not only is this unprofessional, it makes you look petty and childish -- and new co-workers will think you will do the same to them. In addition, it opens the door to gossips who believe you like to trash others (and being known as a gossip is never a good thing).

5. Have some mystery. You don't have to share every detail of your life with colleagues --even the nosy ones. It's OK to connect via LinkedIn, but if your Instagram or Facebook accounts have more private information, then don't feel pressured to connect with coworkers. It will take some time to establish trust with others at a new job, so don't feel rushed to do more.

Good working relationships are critical to career happiness, so just being polite, kind and respectful of others will go a long way to ensuring you get off on the right foot when starting a new job.

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