CAREER DEVELOPMENT / AUG. 13, 2015
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8 Secrets to Succeed at a New Job

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If you’re about to walk into a new job, your main goal might include swiftly moving up in the organization. You’re planning to give your new employer 100 percent, arrive on time and maintain a positive attitude. But getting to the top involves much more, so you’ll need to have a few other tricks up your sleeve.

Are you looking to succeed in your new job? Here are eight secrets to success.

See Also: 10 Principles of Success

1. Be Humble

There’s a learning curve with every job. Even if you have experience and education in a particular field, you’ll have to learn how a company works and their system for getting the job done. When starting a new job, some new employees make the mistake of thinking that their employers expects them to know everything, so they don’t speak up, or ask questions, or get clarification. Instead, they figure things out on their own. Being a problem-solver is an excellent quality. But sometimes, you have to put your pride aside. If you don’t have an answer, or if you’re unsure about a particular assignment, it’s always better to ask for guidance than risk a major mistake. Mistakes are inevitable when starting a new job, the key is minimizing mistakes so they don’t impact overall productivity. If you cause a big blunder because you were being presumptuous or too prideful to seek assistance, you’ll start off on the wrong foot and tarnish your reputation.

2. Make Your Boss Look Good

When starting a new job, most people are only interested in making themselves look good. Sure, you want to prove to your boss and coworkers that you’re the right person for the job, and you don’t want your boss regretting the decision to hire you. But along with making yourself look good, you should make your boss look good. From the first day on the job, observe your boss and learn his pattern. He isn’t perfect, and if he has a lot on his plate, some things might fall through the cracks. You can possibly pick up the pieces and tie up any loose ends, so don’t be afraid to offer your boss reminders or come to his rescue. For example, if you have reason to believe that he’s forgotten about a conference call or a meeting, offer a friendly reminder. Or if you notice that your boss has fallen behind schedule, and you have some free time, offer to jump in and lend a hand. Your boss might also have a boss. And if you go the extra mile to help him look good and succeed, your efforts won’t go unnoticed. It could help you advance within the company faster.

3. Act Like You're Still Interviewing

Some people put their best foot forward during an interview, but slack off or feel they don’t have to work as hard once they get hired. If you want to succeed at a new job, you need to act like you’re still interviewing for the position. Even if the company doesn’t have any type of probationary period, you need to give your absolute best everyday and exceed the company’s expectations. The truth is, your boss can always find someone new for your position. Therefore, your performance should be a reminder of why you were hired in the first place.

4. Never Stop Learning

Just because you’ve found a job doesn’t mean you should stop educating yourself. Jobs evolve, and the more skills you have, the easier it’ll be to get promotions and salary increases. It doesn’t matter if you already have the basic skills and education needed for a particular position, there are research workshops and seminars you can take to become more of an asset to your employer. If the company has relationships with foreign businesses, becoming proficient in another language might open the door to new opportunities. And after getting a new job, you might realize that the company uses a software program that you’re unfamiliar with. You can take an online tutorial or local class and brush up on your skills to ensure your employer is able to utilize all your skills.

5. Work Harder Than Everyone Else

The last thing you want to do is blend in and become just another face in the office. To succeed in a new job -and potentially move up faster than anyone else- you have to be willing to work harder than anyone else. This can mean arriving early, staying late to finish projects, and doing whatever else you can to get noticed. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, and if you don’t bring anything special to the table, your name might not be the first one that pops into your employer’s mind when it’s time to assign people to special assignments or promote from within. Don’t be afraid to volunteer for special projects. Just because you’re the new kid on the block doesn’t mean that your boss won’t consider you. If you speak up and take the initiative when others don’t, this leaves a good impression and shows your boss that you’re a go-getter.

6. Don't Show Off

It doesn’t matter if you beat out a huge pool of qualified candidates for the job, or if you were chosen for a position over those already working for the company, don’t walk into the job thinking you’re hot stuff. Depending on the situation, you might have more experience or education than some of your new colleagues, but don’t rub this in their faces. You’re working together to achieve a common goal, so don’t alienate yourself or walk around the office like you’re superior. You want to build professional relationships, not enemies. If your coworkers don’t like you, they’re less likely to cooperate with you. 

7. Listen More Than You Talk

Some new employees also make the mistake of going into a job thinking they know everything. The truth is, you might know more than the person who’s training you, especially if you’ve recently graduated. Your knowledge is fresh and you’re likely more up-to-date on new happenings or changes in the field. But even if you feel like your training sessions are a waste of time, it’s important to listen and accept guidance. If you come off as a know-it-all who doesn’t listen to anyone, you’ll rub your new coworkers the wrong way and affect your reputation.

8. Know the Difference Between Work Friends and Real Friends

You might be excited to meet new people and make new friends after getting your first job out of college. Understand, however, it takes time to form real friendships. And while your new coworkers might be friendly, you’ll need to watch your back until you’re absolutely certain you can trust and rely on them. Backstabbing and sabotage are real problems in some offices, so you might hold off sharing ideas with your coworkers, and watch what you say to avoid someone using your words against you.

See Also: How to Develop Positive Thinking in Your Life

A new job and a new beginning might be exactly what you need. If you’re able to succeed in your new assignment and give your employer what he needs, it’ll be easier to advance and take your career to the next level.

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