Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Being a new employee can be a frightening challenge. You donít know anyone else on staff; youíre not sure if anyone will like you. Believe it or not, there will be some on your new job that will just take offense to your hire. The best thing to do is try not to start off on the wrong foot. Here are some tips on what NOT to do to brand yourself as the office pariah before the end of your first week.
1. Talking about making changes before you get the lay of the land. Even if your job is to make improvements, the worst thing you can do is to walk in the door and make sweeping changes before your signature is even dry on your W-4 Form. Remember that many employees are proud of what they do and donít want to be told that everything they are doing is wrong or needs to be changed; especially from a stranger. Take some time, ninety days minimum if possible, before you start making even small changes. You need to take the time to learn the staff, learn the job and gain their trust.
2. Donít be a know-it-all; even if you do know-it-all. Very seldom does anyone like a know-it-all. No matter the circumstances, or the task Ė youíve done it before and know the best way to make it happen. Remember, what may have happened at your previous shop may not work here. While itís OK to show that you know what youíre doing, donít go overboard as if you know everything about everything. Making your new co-workers feel inferior is not the best strategy to winning cooperative teammates.
3. Try to fit in with the office culture. Does this mean you have to dye your hair purple to fit in? Absolutely not! If the staff dresses in business casual, however, try to conform at least for the first few weeks until people get to know you. Showing up in a business suit and tie to a business casual atmosphere may give people the impression that you think youíre better than they are.
4. Take notes. Youíre new to the job. Even if youíve done the task a million times at your previous job, it may be different. No one likes, or has time, to repeat instructions over and over again. Keep a small notebook to take notes and refer back to.
If you were hired, obviously you have shown yourself fully capable of doing the job; that was step one. Step two is to show that you can get along and work well with other employees. Let your expertise shine, but carefully. You can be brilliant without blasting it from the top of your desk.