Starting a new job: The art of the quick win
Starting a new job is always a challenge. You want to make a good first impression, and even though you got the position, you now have to prove that you can do the job. Anxious? Nervous? It’s perfectly normal to feel some pressure at first, the trick, though, is to get started on the right foot. In short, you have to make your mark with an early victory. A quick win gets people’s attention and can help boost your confidence for the future.
Here are some pointers on mastering the art of the quick win.
Understand what your boss is looking for
Communicating well with your boss and asking questions about what his or her expectations are will set you on the right path from the start. When you understand your boss’ expectations, it’ll be easier for you to go above and beyond. Once you know what his or her priorities are, you’ll be able to focus your energy on what is most important and what will be the most noticed.
When you get a chance to take ownership of a project or task, don’t hesitate. Volunteer for as much as you can handle. Even if you’re still getting a handle on everything, saying yes shows you’re excited about your job and interested in getting involved. Knowing that you are willing and eager to take on a challenge will make it more likely that your superiors will ask you to do something again – especially if you do a good job of it.
And if something might be over your head, don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance from your coworkers or manager.
Ask questions efficiently
You’ll have plenty of questions when you first start out, and it’s hard not to feel like you’re bothering your supervisor. There are, thankfully, other ways for you to get answers. Many questions can be answered by actually reading your company’s employee manual and other resources that may be provided. Were other employees also recently hired? They might have asked the same question weeks prior and know how it feels to be the new person. When you can’t figure the answer out that way, jot down a few questions to take to your supervisor. This way you avoid knocking on his or her door every five minutes.
Meet your team
If you’re not introduced to your new team, take the initiative to introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Understand their role and function in the company, and how you will have to work together. Ask questions about the company culture, such as what people do on their lunch breaks and how certain policies work. Aside from making you seem friendly, this will also help you avoid awkward situations and fit in quicker. Getting to know your co-workers will also make it easier for you to collaborate on projects, ensuring you always have the right support at the right time.
Gradually make suggestions
As a new person at your job, you have a fresh perspective on operations, allowing you to recognize issues and possible solutions. That is a wonderful tool you should utilize. However, if you start pointing out problems right away, you will likely rub your boss and peers the wrong way. Start by making small suggestions at team meetings and brainstorm sessions and see how these are received. If there is a major problem or complaint that you have that you need to speak to your boss about, come with ideas for possible solutions to the problem.