CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 08, 2016
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5 Unwritten Rules for Starting a New Job

Aw, you’re the newbie, aren’t you? How sweet! I bet you’re all stressed and anxious, and I’ll even bet you bought your own Post-Its! That’s cute! But – let’s face it – not even an entire shelf of Post-Its could save you if you messed up at the beginning of a new job.

I hope you know that you’re to do your very best to exceed expectations when you start a new job, but it all becomes redundant if you fail to follow these five unwritten rules.

See Also: 8 Secrets to Succeed at a New Job

1. Never Forget You're the Newbie

I’m sure that you’ve just shook your head in complete disregard: you? Forget you’re the newbie? Never!

The truth is that you’ll stop feeling like a newbie after the first month or so, and you’ll begin thinking you know everything there is to know: where the cleanest bathroom is, where’s the secret stash of coffee, and everyone’s names and marital status. (Look at you socializing! Go, you!) But just because you’ve stopped feeling like a newbie doesn’t mean your manager or your colleagues have stopped, too.

Give them a good six months before you start demanding more interesting work tasks and give your boss a little over your probation period before you start disagreeing with him – although, depending on the boss, you may want to consider never disagreeing with him at all.

2. Be on Time

Mary from accounting comes in at 10 and she says that that’s fine, does she? Well, you shouldn’t be doing the same. Just because you hate getting up early, and everyone in the office seems to be relaxed with coming in late, it does not mean that you should be doing the same, too.

You should appear to be – and be for that matter – eager to do your job every day. And your boss should be able to recognize your eagerness; if, however, you start coming in late, then your boss is going to think that you’ve already started slacking off.

3. Find a Friend

Much like we were in desperate need of a BFF on our first day school, we need to find that one person that will be willing take us under their wing when starting a new job. Safety comes in numbers, and you should dedicate yourself to finding a person who’s on the inside and who can teach you all the tricks.

If your new job provides a mentoring scheme, then you’re all set; but if it doesn’t, try finding someone within your department. You will feel more comfortable when you find that special someone with whom you can share your lunch breaks while the rest of your colleagues will also perceive you as a friend.

4. Be Katniss

And by that, I mean volunteer. If the manager’s come in with a new project idea and someone needs to do the groundwork, speak up. Especially if you see your coworkers bowing their heads and grunting, say that you’ll do it but also explain why you are qualified to do it. You can say, for example, that you’ve done this type of work before and that you’d like to help.

5. Make an Effort to Fit In

Admittedly, it’s very difficult to fit in with a group of people you’ve just met, but try to be attentive to what they are like as a group: are they formal with each other? Do they joke around? Do they have a sweet tooth?

Make note of these observations and try acting accordingly.

See Also: 5 Ways to Avoid “First Day” Nerves When Starting a New Job

Starting a new job is never easy, but don’t let your stress overwhelm you. Try to go with the flow and you’ll be just fine.

Do you have any other tips for newbies? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments section below!

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