New Job Success: 6 Steps to Start Things Right

Author: Eugene Yiga

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” – Ellen Goodman

Starting a new job can be tough. There’s the whole process of meeting people and getting settled in, not to mention figuring out how the copier works. But with six simple ideas, the transition can be a pleasant and rewarding one:

1. Learn about the company

This starts with corporate culture and dress code, but goes further. Know who you’re working for. Study financial statements if the company is public and use the internet to dig up whatever reports you can find. Doing so beforehand (while preparing for the interview) is a good idea; visiting the office a week or so before you start is even better.

2. Learn about the job

Sit down with your boss and set personal objectives. Know what is expected of you and make sure you get regular feedback on your performance. It’s been said that the biggest reason people fail in new jobs is because their expectations are not aligned. You’ve got to be on the same page to prevent any miscommunication from landing you in trouble.

3. Learn about the people

“Human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled; they are four dimensional—body, mind, heart, and spirit.” – Stephen Covey

You’ll be interacting with a lot of people on a regular basis so it makes sense to get to know them. Take an active interest in their lives. Build strong relationships with the key people you’ll be working with and who can help you out when the need arises. Try to find a mentor who can guide you as time goes by. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if resources are there for that reason.

4. Learn about the processes

You might notice things that don’t make sense and consequently want to suggest change. But you’ve got to understand that sometimes things are the way they are for reasons you don’t yet understand. Take the time to figure out how things work by asking lots of questions. Then volunteer to take on the right opportunities. Of course you don’t want to load yourself with too much too soon, but the ultimate goal is to keep building on your strengths and add value wherever you can.

5. Learn about your skills

Ultimately, we should work to learn and not just to earn. By volunteering to take on extra responsibilities, you build valuable skills that make you a better worker and a better person too. You learn about communication and negotiation, both of which come in handy all through your life. Remember to keep track of all the projects you do and what they taught you in a professional file. Writing these down in clear and concrete terms will make it easy for you to update your résumé (or negotiate a raise).

6. Learn about your limits

“Find a job you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.” – Confucius

Even though we spend a third of our lives at work, you’ve got to draw the line and not go too far. Take it easy! I’m not talking about showing no commitment because jobs for life are a thing of the past. (In fact, it’s a good idea to stay in the job for at least two years and rotate to new departments lest you be seen as flaky to future employers.) It’s simply about learning to switch off when it’s time to do so. Don’t take your problems home or else the stress will be the end of you. And don’t cram a year’s worth of relaxation into two weeks at the end because the consequences are dire.

“Each individual should work for himself. No one wants to sacrifice himself for the company. People come to work in the company to enjoy themselves.” – Soichiro Honda

I really think the above quote is a powerful one. It just goes to show that you don’t have to use clever tactics to get your way. Instead, you’ve got to treat people with the respect they deserve. Even in these tough times when worrying about the needs of others might not be a top priority, it’s important to keep giving them what they want. In the end, it’ll definitely be worth it.

“We do not go to work only to earn an income, but to find meaning in our lives. What we do is a large part of what we are.” – Alan Ryan

About the Eugene Yiga: Eugene has been an active writer for over a decade and published my first book in August 2007. This marked the start of Varsity Blah, a personal development blog that has now received almost 250,000 hits from over 125 countries worldwide. This special report is one of almost 100 posts that were compiled into his upcoming book, which was reviewed on Authonomy.com: “This is some very insightful stuff… The way the book is structured, paired with your capabilities of drawing great narrative, leads this on the right path. This cleanses the mind.” For more free chapters and special reports, please email editor@varsityblah.com.

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