Three Things You Should do in a New Job to Impress
You’ve been jumping through hoops for weeks. You’ve been questioned, interrogated and probed. You’ve sat awkwardly at board room tables with sweaty palms having to justify your existence. You’ve handled curly questions and explained your resume to judgemental onlookers, and now you’ve succeeded. It’s over. No more interrogation, you’ve got the job!
However, the reality is that the true test has only just begun. Now a new wave of fear sets in…. a new job! You stand on the corner outside the building way too early on your first day waiting, fixing the tuck of your shirt, the way your hair falls, watching others going in and out and wondering what they do, as you wait for the right time to go in. You want to be early but not annoyingly over-eager.
Eventually you enter and are shown to your desk, your new nine to five home. Now, the last thing you want to be is a George Castanza out of Seinfeld and achieve nothing by alphabetising your paperwork all week. So, what do you do? How can you be sure you impress and show that you’re there to add value in your new role? Here’s three true and tested things you must do if you want to make a great impression.
- Give Feedback
“What?!” you say… how can you give feedback when you don’t know anything yet? Won’t people think I’m arrogant if I do? The answer is you really must give feedback in your first weeks and the reason is because it’s the only time that you’re objective. You’ve come in with a fresh set of eyes and see things just as they are. You can understand the product or service the company offers just like a customer would because you’re not yet aware of internal processes, politics and challenges. Your view hasn’t yet been tainted by knowledge of cluttered internal workings and excuses. So, use these fresh eyes to your advantage.
I’m not suggesting you tell everyone that it’s all wrong! That would be arrogant and a sure fast way to get your new colleges off-side. Simply make notes, lots of them, about your observations as well as questions. Then send them to your new boss at the end of the week titled your ‘observations week 1’ and explain that you wanted to share your thoughts because you’re still an objective bystander. As long as you dance the fine line between being innovative and arrogant appropriately, your boss will appreciate your initiative and the feedback you provide will be invaluable. You may even be tasked to fix some of the issues that you’ve perceived.
2. Ask ‘stupid’ questions
The biggest mistake people make in new jobs in not asking questions for fear of looking stupid. They assume that they ‘should’ know everything and instead spend weeks trying to figure things out for themselves. Instead, learn new things in just a day by asking the right person. Good questions show curiosity, intelligence and passion. Of course, there’s a time and a place. Don’t go interrupting every meeting to ask a question every time someone says something you don’t understand. Simply make a note and then ask your mentor a colleague or your boss at a time that’s right.
By not being afraid to ask questions or ‘look stupid’ you accelerate your learning and can hit the ground running rather than walking lost in your new role.
3. Attend everything meeting that you can
When you start a new role, most of the time you’re not invited to every meeting because your boss doesn’t want to throw you in the deep end. People also know that you’re new and that you likely won’t yet understand what’s being discussed so they leave you off invites. However, you should proactively put your hand up to attend relevant meetings and conference calls. You don’t need to participate or even understand what’s going on. Just sit there, listen and absorb.
You will be surprised how the subconscious mind works. By exposing yourself to as much as possible you will start to pick up the jargon, understand the processes, know people’s names and what they do much quicker than if you just sit at your desk pretending to look busy while that meeting you’re not yet invited to goes on. Of course, there’s also a fine line between being annoying and eager so, use your judgement to determine when you’re welcome. Don’t expect to be invited to everything. Use your common sense and only ask to be invited to meetings on your level and ones that are relevant to your role or relevant to learning more about your new company.
Essentially, the key ingredient to impressing your colleges and boss in a new roll is curiosity. Asking the right, intelligent questions, giving appropriate feedback on your observations and showing a keenness to get involved goes a long way to giving people the impression that you’re the right person for the job and makes all the hard work from preparing your resume and all those rounds of gruelling interviews worth it. It all becomes rewarding and satisfying! Good luck!