Now What? Tips for Success for New Employees
Finding a job into day’s job market takes a great deal of hard work and effort. Job searches and resume writing take a lot of time. On top of that there are often applications that need to be completed as well. Then, once all of that work is completed, all you can do is prepare for an interview and hope and pray that you’ll get a call. Like I said, job hunting takes a great deal of hard work and effort!
Be sure to check out "What's next? Job Hunting Tips for College Grads".
Even if you do everything right in the application and interview process and you have landed the job you were seeking, your work still isn’t finished. Once you land the job you will have to put forth some effort to keep it. Many employers use a 90-day probationary period. This is their opportunity to see if you’ve accurately represented yourself and if they want to keep you around. There are plenty of others who would love to have your new job. Don’t give your employers any reason to give it to them instead.
I’ve learned over the last few years in working with young employees in our Internship Program, what qualities employers and co-workers value. Some of these qualities don’t come naturally to up-and-coming professionals or recent college graduates. Because these traits don’t come naturally, I’ve seen several make mistakes and get discouraged without understanding what they did wrong.
Cell Phone Etiquette:
- Keep your phone on silent or vibrate. No one wants to hear your latest pop song ring tone.
- If you must take your phone into a meeting, turn it off and put it away.
- Don’t browse the internet or update your Facebook status from your phone during meetings.
- Phone calls and texts can wait. Don’t read or send texts when talking with your boss or co-worker.
- Use your phone as a mobile calendar. Let it help you keep track of meetings and appointments.
If you are a young employee that has recently landed a job, take a look at some of these suggestions to help you keep your job and earn the respect of your supervisors and co-workers:
- Understand the balance between confidence and humility. Be confident in your abilities, but humble enough to learn from others. Many college graduates leave their universities with a head full of knowledge, which is great, but they often lack experience. Be confident in your ability to learn and gain new skills. Be humble enough to respect those who have already proven their knowledge and worth.
- Don’t get too comfortable too soon. The first few months aren’t the time to break out the casual wear. Continue to dress a step above as you did during the interview process. This will help you earn respect and will inspire a sense of professionalism. Those with more experience may have already earned the right to dress more casually as their work has already given them a respectful air. It should go without saying that modesty is a must. For the women in the workforce, watch the cleavage, the skirt length, and the tightness of your pants. If you look in the mirror and wonder if you should wear it… the answer is no.
- Learn as much as you can about your job and the organization. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Find out why things are done the way they are. Learn what characteristics and skills are valued and then put them into practice. Develop an understanding of policies and procedures. While there should be some sort of learning curve, you won’t be able to rely on the excuse of being new too long. Co-workers and peers from other departments can be easily irritated with their procedures are constantly ignored. By learning those policies and following their rules, you earn their respect and will smooth the way to a better working relationship.
- Resist the urge to offer your opinion too soon. Learn to wait until you are asked. Once you are asked, however, be sure to have ideas and suggestions ready. Even if you have great ideas, they may not be well received by seasoned employees. Don’t take it personally if your ideas aren’t well received. Find out first if those ideas have been tried before. Chances are if the organization is successful, it’s because those who have been around a while know what they are doing.
- Demonstrate a bias for action. Fight the lazy stereotype that many people have of your generation. Take the initiative and go above and beyond in your work. If you don’t have work to do, find work to do. Ask others if you can help with their tasks and projects. Don’t get caught up in lingering too long at the water cooler or looking up YouTube videos all day.
- Lose your perception of the generation gap. You don’t like it when others judge you because of your age and inexperience. Older individuals don’t like it when you assume they are out of touch. There is so much wisdom and knowledge to learn from the generation ahead of you. Accept that and soak in as much as you. Learn from those who have been there. Be respectful of their position and authority.
- Take advantage of any additional training that is offered. Don’t be satisfied with the education you have. Become a lifelong learner. There are always skills to be learned and developed. By taking advantage of learning opportunities, not only will you make a good impression, you will build your skills for promotional opportunities along the way.
- Become a team player. Don’t worry about your status or try to get ahead. Work toward the common goal of the organization. Often the entry level position you have isn’t your dream job. Becoming obsessed with getting ahead and proving your own worth will only disappoint you and cause your frustration. Set your ambition aside and do the best you can where you are. Success will come to those who work hard. Be patient and put the team goals ahead of your own.
- Develop effective communication skills. Learning to both inform and listen to you supervisor, your co-workers, your customers, and those in other departments will help protect you from miscommunication and disaster. Re-read every note or e-mail before you send it. Over-communicate to make sure that everyone is on the same page and understands what you are trying to say. Listen to communications that come your way as well. If an announcement is made, there shouldn’t be any reason for you not to know anything about it.
- Demonstrate integrity in everything you do. Don’t come in late, take a long lunch, and leave early. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say you’re going to be somewhere, be there. Attend meetings. Take notes. Perform your tasks with excellence. This will establish a sense of trust among your supervisors and co-workers.
Most of these suggestions won’t come naturally. You’ll have to be intentional in your efforts to putting them into practice. By taking a proactive approach to your new work environment, you’ll be able to jump start your career and succeed in the long run.
If you found this Hub helpful, please be sure to vote it up. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the suggestions. If you work with young employees, share in the comment section below your own tips and suggestions for success. Thanks for reading!