March 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm #155380
Starting at a new agency my #1 tip is learn the culture. Shortcut to that: Myers-Briggs. What are your tips for succeeding in a new position?
March 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm #155416
Starting with a positive attitude and showing that you are a team player.
March 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm #155414
Be yourself. Yourself should be someone who fits in with the organization, otherwise you probably shouldn’t be working there anyway.
March 9, 2012 at 12:09 am #155412
Thanks for the advice – well taken. Change is a breath of fresh air – it really helps you to see things more objectively that’s for sure.
March 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm #155410
Live blogging a couple of other things-
– say less till you know what’s going on, and even then, save your input for when it is most
– ask probing questions not superficial ones
– keep a mental notebook of things that strike you as unique, different, noteworthy – these are cultural artifacts that energy is invested in
– think about who your community is, should be; but stay in your lane
– maintain work/life balance but focus more energy on work till u get a rhythm going
– ask for feedback and support from your family and friends
– go shopping not just for outfits but for office as well
– bring food
– bring more food.
– go for a walk in the middle of the day, clear your head.
March 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm #155408
One more – think marathon not sprint.
March 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm #155406
As part of the culture, learn the power dynamics of the office. Often, the power rests not only in the position, but in the knowledge and leadership of others – the “man behind the man” so to speak.
Be willing to accept occupational help/advice when offered. You have to be careful about this one in that you need to trust the person providing the help. This may take the form of a mentor, or just someone who knows the ropes and is willing to share their expertise to get you over the “new here” humps.
March 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm #155404
Dennis Edward ByrneParticipant
Here’s my advice.
No matter how smart or knowledgeable you are . . . be humble.
Be engaging of course . . . but in a humble way, and force yourself to smile more often than you do currently.
In the end of course . . . .real cream rises to the top eventually.
March 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm #155402
Overachieve in the first month
-I really do think first impressions matter – dress well, be super nice, stay later, and really rock out your first project. It’s scary how hard it can be to change a first impression – if the first week people see you acting a certain way, it’ll be hard to reverse that
Here’s tips of what not to do:
-Don’t immediately say at my previous agency we did it X way….people get annoyed with that quickly
March 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm #155400
Thomas D. LarsonParticipant
Watch and listen, then watch and listen some more, and assume everyone there is doing their best to help the organization succeed.
March 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm #155398
I would say “listen” and “ask questions”. Too many times new employees want to make an impression or show how they are going to change the world now that they are there. This fire hose effect tends to create rifts in the new organization. It should be a partnership where both parties are learning about each other. I also know that many times new employees don’t want to appear “stupid” or “ignorant” thus they don’t ask questions. The first few months are a good honeymoon stage to ask all kinds of questions about how the organization works, who are the customers, what are the challenges. Usually these questions spur great discussion where the new employee and the current employees can create solutions together using both a new and known perspective.
March 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm #155396
Learn the acronyms.
March 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm #155394
Very true. It doesn’t help to have to go asking around late in the game. I like getting things the first time, though my memory can be short so I always take notes. In that case at least if the notes aren’t perfect and I ask one more time it’s clear that it wasn’t for lack of paying attention, and it’s a quick fix.
March 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm #155392
Know what you’re getting into…and know when to arrive. I’ll never forget my first government (and military job) – the office hours were 0700-1600 – which I didn’t realize until the night before. Showing up at 9 AM would have looked pretty silly. And knowing what you’re getting into is all about being prepared for the tasks ahead. Homework still has it’s place, even for grown-ups!
March 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm #155390
Find out and write down the unwritten rules.
Do not try to change the unwritten rules, but ask: what do you need? what are the goals? what is the best way to get there?
March 10, 2012 at 1:35 am #155388
Thanks again everyone. A couple more I got today-
-meet someone new every day
-don’t change anything for a month
-focus on helping your superiors succeed
…also bring a stapler.
March 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm #155386
But don’t over-overachieve. Your new boss might be impressed but you will alienate your co-workers and you need them to succeed.
March 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm #155384
Your are right. Food works!
March 13, 2012 at 11:39 am #155382
When I start a new job I make mental notes about people. After your first few days you can always pick up on gossipers, team players, complainers, and slackers. I take everyone at face value. I do my best not to get sucked into the office drama.
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