Three Critical Success Factors for Starting a New Job

You made it through the interviews and got a great job offer. The salary was more than you expected. Now it’s up to you to make this transition a success. We all know how critical first impressions can be, and you can be sure that everyone is sizing up the new employee and making an initial judgment. And although you can overcome a negative first impression, you will spend a lot of time and effort in the process. Although a number of elements can contribute to your success or failure in your new role, these three suggestions can start you down the right path and help you avoid damage that can be difficult to repair.

Take Initiative to get to know others and discover what they do

 When you first arrive at your new company, someone will most probably show you around and introduce you to coworkers—particularly those with whom you will be working directly. You may receive lunch invitations to help you get on board. After the first couple of days, however, you are on your own. Avoid waiting for others to reach out to you. Take the initiative to introduce yourself to those whom you haven’t met and continue connecting with those you met earlier. Without appearing to be nosy or intrusive, find out what they do and how their jobs fit into the big picture. Learning about what others do will create resources for you when you need help. Express appreciation for the shared experience and knowledge when you are given help.

Be a quick study regarding the corporate culture

Companies have their own DNA, and the faster you learn about your new home, the better. Is the environment relaxed or rather formal? Does everyone call each other by first names, or do you wait for the boss to say, “Call me Julie.” Is the atmosphere collaborative and team-based (really, not just with lip service)? Does the reward system honor individuals or groups? What is the tolerance for taking risks and making mistakes? Watch and absorb the way things get done. Pay special attention in meetings, both live and virtual, to processes and protocols.

Leave your baggage behind.

You may have had the world’s worst boss or the world’s best. Your prior coworkers may have had tons of fun at work with celebrations and great social events. Or, the environment could have been incredibly toxic and competitive. You could have been a rising star who wanted greater opportunities. Whatever the situation, keep it to yourself in the early days of your new employment. People aren’t really interested in hearing you complain about how bad things were or how you did it at your former company. Be an interested listener, and, if coworkers ask about your former employer, answer in a generally positive and non-specific way. The way things were back there can get old in a hurry for your new colleagues, and dwelling on the past keeps you from focusing on the future.

Starting a new job takes planning, careful execution, and social savvy. To be successful, you need to think beyond your job description and aim for long-term success.

Beverly

Beverly

Beverly Y. Langford as President of LMA Communication, Inc.® works with organizations and individuals on strategic communication, message development, effective interpersonal communication skills, team building, and leadership development.