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Starting Your New Job on the Right Foot

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Finally, after sending out all those resumes and going out on interviews, you’re hired. What now? How do you live up and capitalize on the great impression you made when you were being interviewed? According to HR Consultant Nicholas Corbin, the key to success is to take the proactive approach. Don’t wait for your new company or co-workers to eventually get used to your being there – get to work on establishing yourself as an asset to the team as quickly as possible.

Find a Mentor

Having a mentor is an important first step when settling into a new job. A mentor is a valuable source of guidance from whom you can assimilate the ins and outs of how work is done, from learning how to work the photocopier to what to expect in the upcoming staff meeting. He or she can also help you ease into your new workplace by introducing you to the rest the company. By being introduced by a well-liked and respected team member, you will probably be more readily accepted by the rest of your co-workers. No matter how well you perform on the job, what matters most during the first months is whether or not you are accepted as a member of the team.

When in Rome…

One of the common mistakes made by new hires is that they become too eager, and try to “revolutionize” their new workplace with all the great new ideas they brought in with them. While newcomers are expected to be enthusiastic, being overzealous often sends the wrong message. As exciting as it is to have a fresh opportunity to prove yourself, earn your place by being supportive and helpful, not by behaving as though you know just what the company needs. Workplaces often have their own culture and social structure – appearing to want to change it too early on is likely to alienate co-workers.

Results, Not Recognition

What employee does not want praise and recognition, particularly when they are trying to prove themselves in their new jobs? Highly visible accomplishments may score you brownie points and establish you as an up-and-comer, but a more effective way to win your way into acceptance is to be what Corbin terms as “the fixer.” Identify the challenges and loose ends left by your predecessor or the tasks that your boss or teammates aren’t too thrilled to do – and get to work! This may not seem very appealing, but showing that you’re ready to roll up your sleeves to get the job done. It may not be the fastest route to recognition and rewards, but it’s the sure, steady way to becoming a valuable asset for any team.

Essentially, the way to succeed at a new job is to make everyone's life a bit easier by doing your job well. To accomplish this, you must fit in with your team, find where the challenges lie and deliver results. Strike the right balance between respecting the work culture you have just come into and being enthusiastic enough that your co-workers recognize you as a team player. You were hired from among hundreds if not thousands of hopefuls. This means you showed the most potential for not only getting the job done, but also for fitting in with the team. Realize that potential, and who knows, you might just become a mentor for a newcomer sooner than you think.

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