Starting a new job is a challenge, no matter how much experience you have. And as a result, most employers will give you a bit of room when it comes to mess-ups your first few days on the job. Forgetting someone’s name, or where to find the paper for the copier, is completely understandable. But there are a few things you should never forget, no matter how common or innocent they may seem.
Ask Questions – While it may be tempting at a new job to show off your skills and independence, not asking questions early on can come back to haunt you. The way you did things in your previous company may not be how things are done at your new one. Remember, asking questions isn’t showing a weakness; it’s showing that you’re enthusiastic about your new job and committed to doing things right the first time.
Set Goals and Ask for What You Want – As the new kid on the block, you may not feel like you have the right to ask for high-profile projects or to set a plan for getting to the next level. In reality, showing your manager that you’re eager to establish a successful career and take on new opportunities is always a good thing.
Don’t Be Too Eager for Everyone to Like You – It’s human nature to want to be liked, but placing too much of a focus on making friends in your new workplace can get in the way of making tough business decisions or setting yourself apart from peers. It’s important to stand behind what you believe in, focusing on client and company needs. Instead of making friends, think about building strong work relationships and earning respect from colleagues.
Steer Clear of Social Media Sites – When starting a new job, you’ll often find you have lulls in the day as you establish your new role. It may be tempting to use this time to check in on social media, posting updates and seeing what your friends are up to. Even if you see co-workers actively doing this, don’t follow their lead. Instead, use that time to check in with your manager to see if there are additional projects you can take on or use the time to network with colleagues, learning more about their roles and responsibilities.
Don’t Stay Chained to Your Desk – One of my favorite sayings is “Network is Net Worth.” While you may want to show how busy and valuable you are by keeping your head down and working away at your desk all day, don’t overlook the importance of networking with those around you. Schedule lunches or coffee breaks with peers and potential mentors. It’s important to find a balance between doing your work while also building your professional network in order to succeed at a new job.
A new job is a fresh opportunity to highlight your talents and take the next step in your career journey. It’s also a chance to kick bad habits and put your needs and goals first. Avoid these common – but damaging – mistakes and you’ll keep building a stellar reputation while progressing your career.
I’m compensated by University of Phoenix for this blog and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Author Bio: Ryan Kahn is founder of The Hired Group, career coach on MTV’s “Hired,” and creator of the “How To Get Hired”online course.