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It may not seem like it, with the unemployment rate dominating the news, but there are people who are entering the workforce. For some it’s their first real job. Others are moving on to new jobs, and out of the comfort zone of a job and the relationships they had formed.
More than ever, it’s important to understand what is expected of you and how to beat those expectations. People will make snap judgments and companies are putting more teeth behind a 90-day evaluation period. It’s important that your new coworkers like what they see. So whether this is your first job or your dream job, here are 5 things that should be at the top of your inbox.
- Listen first.
For someone out of school, this may be easy. But if you have some experience, a company may be hiring you to shake things up a bit, or to look at their processes with a different point of view. That’s all well and good, but before you start blowing things up, you should be careful to observe what does and doesn’t work. Take time to talk with as many employees as you can.
- Be your best, professional self.
Everybody likes to be greeted with a cheerful good morning and a pleasant smile. But not everyone likes to have the first few minutes of their day hijacked with happy talk. Adapt to the company. If you didn’t notice at the interview, call your boss before your first day and get a clear idea of what the dress code is. This also goes for your work area. Your goal is to showcase your competence, not your quirks.
- Act like you’re always being watched.
You’re the new person and this is their company. Other employees, especially the ones above you, are going to want to know who you are what you bring to the company. If you give them the perception that you’re not serious and focused, it could take months, or years to change that perception. If you get a chance to change it at all.
- Be punctual and willing to work late.
Most employers will gladly overlook the occasional day when you’re a few minutes late, and think nothing of you needing to leave a few minutes early, but you have to earn it. And that starts by showing you understand how to manage your time.
- Do whatever it takes.
This is really what it means to be a team player. More than likely, your boss has plans for you, he just may not be able to start you on a specific project your first day. Showing that you’re flexible and willing to help out in different ways shows a mature understanding of the way businesses work.
When you take care of these five basic tasks, it will be much easier for you to get noticed for the right reasons and you’ll start being given more responsibility. And that’s when you can become more assertive in making sure your boss understands your value, while still being respected by your peers.