8 Things Successful People Do When Starting A New Job

December 3, 2015

by Ravi Raman

Starting a new job can be a time filled with excitement and stress. The good news is, you can learn how to overcome the stress and focus on the excitement in a way that not only helps you enjoy your new career but make a bigger impression on others in the process. Here are eight simple things that successful people do when starting a new job. If you are looking to make a splash at your new job or just step up your game at your existing one, give these a shot.

Get to know everyone

As the new person, you have carte blanche to ask all kinds of questions to get to know people. Not just their name, but what they do and how they contribute to the company. As a starting point, introduce yourself to everyone, not just people who are in leadership positions. Make it a point to remember who people are and what they do. Write down their names. If you happen to forget a name, don’t worry about it. As the new person, you will be forgiven you as long as it is not a habit.

Ask for introductions

If you work at a large company, it can be cumbersome to sort out who does what and who the experts are. As you go around the office meeting people, ask the people you meet who you should talk with to learn and ramp up faster. If they have some pointers to busy and influential people you should meet, ask them to introduce you to create a stronger connection.

Ask questions

Forget about needing to know all the answers when you join a new company. With an outsider’s perspective, you can ask all kinds of questions about how things get done and why. In the process, you will learn a ton and possibly identify areas where you can change the status quo. Beginner’s mind is a powerful thing.

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. ”

Shunryu Suzuki

Eliminate stress

Stress is useful in certain situations. Feeling a little on edge before stepping on stage or before an interview can heighten awareness and help you perform better. Sustained stress is entirely different. It is draining and keeps you from fully engaging with people around you. There are various methods for dealing with stress when it happens or even preventing it from happening in the first place. My favorite techniques are meditation, breathing or aerobic exercise. If you are prone to anxiety and stress, watch your caffeine intake as well.

Cultivate a positive mindset

Do you enjoy being around someone who is a pessimist? A positive mindset is critical for you to do your best work while inspiring others to do the same. What is interesting to note is that you can build your capacity to sustain a positive mindset through daily practice. The more you practice noticing positive aspects of your job, your team and the possibilities your company has; the easier it will be to have positive thinking be your natural way of being.

Learn from veterans

Take the time to learn how seasoned and outstanding employees get things done and navigate company politics. You can save years of trial-and-error by asking others who have already discovered the best ways to do things. Includes little things like the best ways to get time on a busy executive’s calendar or the way the company handles various business reviews or product development checkpoints.

Set expectations clearly

Think you know what your boss expects of you? Why not know for sure by asking. Within your first week on the job, you should make sure you check in with your manager on specific expectations for your first month, first quarter and first year. Don’t take anything for granted. I have a client I worked with who spent several months on the job before learning how she would be measured for her upcoming performance review, or even finding out when the performance review would happen! Don’t let that happen to you.

Get healthy and energized

You will never be able to do your best work if you lack the energy to stay focused and work at the high level for a sustained period. Managing your energy and health is critical. Hire a personal trainer. Get regular massages. Find the best spots to eat healthily and tasty meals for lunch. Treat your health just like it was the most important project at work. Give it the same level of attention. Feel your energy levels improve and watch your job performance follow suit.


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