At some point in our lives, we’ve all been nervous about starting a new job or taking on a new role. It can be exciting, stressful, and nerve-racking, all at the same time. I am sure that you’ve all heard the typical advice about starting a new job: be on time, dress appropriately, greet people with a smile, make a good impression! Yes, these are all important things to keep in mind, but really, there are three major skills that you should develop if you want to succeed in your new role:
Provide Positive Feedback
Never take for granted that it isn’t easy to bring in new people to a team, to invest the time to prepare and train new hires. If you thought your orientation was helpful, you should let the appropriate people in HR know. Believe me, it will be appreciated. Give them specific examples of what you thought was helpful.
For example, if someone went out of their way to assist you with getting your system access or building ID, let their manager know. It may seem like a small/insignificant gesture, but it can go a long way. By providing positive feedback, you are showing that you are proactive in communicating both your thoughts & observations and that you understand the value of providing feedback.
Eventually, when you are more integrated and comfortable in your position, you’ll be better prepared to provide constructive, rather than just positive, feedback. But for managers, hearing about what is working well can sometimes be just as helpful as hearing the concerns and complaints. It gives managers confirmation that they are doing something right. And it shows them that you are a positive person who isn’t afraid to share their thoughts.
Find a Way to Immediately Add Value
You know the excuses: “But I haven’t learned everything yet,” or “I can’t really help out yet, if I wanted to.” Those are the typical responses I get when I ask my newly hired clients about how they have added value to their new teams. You have to realize that you don’t need to drastically improve a process or change the way something is done to add value. Just having the right attitude and creating a positive team environment can be a great way to add value when you are in a new role.
Another way might be to take detailed notes that can be added to existing procedure documents. Training yourself to find these opportunities to add value will benefit you greatly when you are eventually more comfortable in your job. You’ll be in a position to make many suggestions for improvements that can really have an impact on your organization.
Talk About Yourself
Yes, this one sounds counter intuitive at first. You’re not interviewing anymore; you’ve already been hired. Isn’t this the time that you should be listening, learning, and observing? Absolutely, but keep in mind that not everyone has interviewed you. People are still getting to know you. Prepare a new elevator pitch or a quick introduction for when you meet someone new.
Think carefully about what you want to include from your background. In this case, talking about yourself is in no way egotistical. You are simply sharing information about yourself with new people. What are you interested in? Are you excited about your new job? What are you willing to share about yourself that is personal? Without preparation, you may tend to shy away from those conversations, but being a new hire is a great opportunity/excuse to network with the people in your company.
You will even find that being prepared to talk about yourself is a useful skill, even when you’re no longer new. Over the course of your time in your new position, you’re going to meet new or more senior managers and new hires. So you will want to continue to evolve your introduction as you become more experienced in the company.
These are all skills important in establishing yourself as a new joiner, but will also follow you in your career development for years to come!
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