Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Starting a new job is the perfect time to take a look at your past work habits and determine what developmental areas that you can tweak and improve on. Since we rarely see ourselves as others do there is always room for improvement – even if you are a star performer. Starting a new job? Here are five tips on how to transform yourself.
1 – Keep your discontentment to yourself. Nothing is worse then being labeled a whiner, a gossip or even a troublemaker. If a major blow up with your boss caused you to leave your last job, keep it to yourself. Why start off with a new company complaining about your previous employer? It won't be your last company that will look bad, it will be you. You may think you are gaining sympathy, but you're not. Everyone will be thinking, “I wonder she is saying about me behind my back."
Don’t start off complaining about the new company either. If there is a question on your pay, or a benefit you did not receive - don't complain to your co-workers. Take the matter up with HR. You have not earned the right to sound off on the things you hate. You may end up offending the people you wanted to impress. Once you are labeled a whiner, gossip or troublemaker – it’s all down hill from there.
2 – Don’t overbook yourself trying to act like a team player. It’s natural to want everyone at your new job to like you. Volunteering for every project that comes along, however, will not prove you’re a team player. Excessive volunteering leads to over-commitment, missed deadlines and the over all impression that you're unreliable, even if you think you're doing everyone a favor by helping them on their projects.
3 – Keep tabs on housekeeping basics. Nobody likes working with a slob. If you tend to keep a messy office, now is the time to start new habits. Keeping your work area clean will definitely impress your new office mates with your organization skills.
4 – Tardiness is for losers. Showing up late may have been acceptable at your last job, but if your new job is a stickler for punctuality, now is the time to learn how to be on time. If you know that you are going to hit expressway traffic, give yourself extra time on the front end. Do not expect to leave home the same time every day with the attitude that you’ll get there when you get there. You may lose your place to “get to.”
5 – Be cautious on making friends. Remember the cliché “everyone who smiles in your face is not your friend.” You do not want to be standoffish, but you do want to exercise caution in the beginning. That friendly, over-eager co-worker running up to shake your hand and offering to “show you the ropes” may be the office gossip. Take time to get to know people, this includes not sharing your life story with what essentially amounts to a bunch of strangers.
Starting a new job is great, but “caution” should be the word of the day when you first walk into your new job.