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Starting a New Job? Remember These 3 Things

By Daniel B. Kline – Mar 5, 2019 at 7:03AM

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It's important to get off on the right foot.

When you start a new job, it's exciting and perhaps scary for you, but it's also a change for everyone already at the company. Your arrival means changes -- maybe big ones or maybe just tiny ones, depending on what your role will be.

It's important as you take on your new opportunity to remember that you're entering an environment that existed before you got there. Be cognizant of the fact that your new coworkers may be welcoming, and they also may be nervous. That's especially true if you have a management role and the ability to make decisions about other people.

People working in an office.

If you're the new person, remember that the existing workers may be worried about your role. Image source: Getty Images.

1. Take your time

Whether you are the boss or an employee, don't rush in and make changes. Yes, you may have done things a different way at your old job, but that does not mean that those methods will work in this new situation.

Even if you were hired to make changes, try to get the lay of the land and feel out what's working and what isn't. Sometimes, unconventional methods succeed, or less traditional ideas are what's actually working.

2. Get to know people

It's easier to accept new ideas and even direct orders from someone who actually knows a little bit about you. Make an effort to introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Show an interest in what they do and learn a little bit about what they're like as a person.

If you are in management, solicit suggestions. Ask everyone on your team what changes they would make and where they see room for improvement. You may not directly take any of those suggestions, but if you hear the same things over and over, that should open your eyes to at least how employees see the company.

3. Work harder and smarter

Your reputation from your last job does not come with you. Even if you're coming in at a high level, it's important to reestablish yourself and set a new bar.

Be the first to work and the last to leave -- maybe not every day, but most of the time. Be open to volunteering for new projects and unpleasant assignments. You should also be open to social engagements, as things like birthday lunches and after-work drinks help you establish a relationship with your new coworkers and/or employees.

Establish yourself

As a new employee (or boss), you have a blank slate to create the version of you that you want to present in the workplace. Be thoughtful in your approach, and try to consider what your actions say about you and how they will be perceived.

You don't have to fade into the background in your early days. You should, however, make sure that any action you take comes from an informed position. Be open to learning and doing things in a different way than you have in the past.

It's, of course, fine to suggest new ways to do things or to draw upon your past experience. Doing that is easier when you understand the environment you're operating in and how your actions will impact (or upset) other people.

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