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Strong Start: How to Be a Great New Employee

great new employee

Strong Start: How to Be a Great New Employee

You’ve got the new job. Congratulations. But how do you become a great new employee?

After all, you’ve already been a great recruit. You’ve put together the great resume, or LinkedIn profile. You made it through one interview, or several. You negotiated salary. You moved across country, or started a new commute.

But – now you’re the new guy (or woman) at the office. How do you start to become more than just the unknown face?

great new employee

How to be a great new employee:

Set up a regular check-in with your boss. You don’t want to be annoying, but you also don’t want to seem passive, even for a minute, about your future success. Make a point of asking your manager early on, if there is a convenient time when you can meet up and get feedback on your progress.

Speaking of which – before you can make progress, you have to have goals. Decide early with your boss what the objectives are, what the time line is to achieve them, and what the definition of success is.

Start building relationships. This means learning the names, roles, and histories of your colleagues. Find out who does what, why they like it at this company (or don’t), how long they’ve been there. Listen more than you speak.

Regardless of whether you become close friends, or agree long term on the future of the organization, you need to understand the dynamics of the department you work in. You can more easily steer clear of interoffice politics, or getting into awkward situations, if you keep your eyes wide open and listen carefully to your new co-workers.

Show up on time – or early. Once you’ve been working there, maybe you can be the last person at your desk in the morning (but, maybe not). But if it’s your first month, your first six months, maybe your first year, you want to look eager and feel prepared.

Plus, if you show up earlier, you avoid having the pressure and stress of beating the morning commute still on your mind. Giving yourself 15-30 minutes of time in the morning to decompress means you can read email and prepare for the day without unnecessary stress.

Begin to learn about the business. Sure, you did your research on the company before you were hired. But if you want to be a great new employee, you’re going to have to start to really invest tie understanding the company history, its business goals, its strategy, and its core values.

This could be as simple as showing up for departmental meetings and taking notes, but it could mean showing more initiative. Ask questions during company cocktail hours. Read the website or annual reports.

Listen and learn – you’re new, so people will understand that you don’t know everything. Take advantage of that honeymoon period to be inquisitive.

Be positive. Everyone has an off day. But if you’re the newest one to the lunchroom, so to speak, it’s a good idea if you can have a great attitude for as long as possible.

People are still getting to know you and form opinions. Try not to give them reasons to hesitate to build a professional relationship with you because you seem negative or cynical. A great new employee should be someone that people are excited about.

We spend so much time panicked about getting a new job, and so relieved when we find one, that it can come as a shock to realize there is a whole different pressure on being a great new employee.

[bctt tweet=”But the truth is, the interview is just the end of the beginning – once you start a new job, you have more to prove.”]

Luckily, it’s not magic – be positive, ask questions, listen, set goals, show up – is not rocket science. Just being aware of the new environment and having a plan to make a good impression is the right path toward being a great new employee.