If you’ve just started a new job, here are some ways to be a good employee, to avoid becoming a hiring mistake! Since the whole economic downturn, businesses have had to change their practices in order to adapt, and thus it’s an employer’s market out there. It’s always good to arm yourself with some simple behavioral practices to retain your job and ensure your role gets kept during these hard economic times. You’ll be surprised to learn from some hiring managers that the following ways to be a good employee are not always practiced, so take note and you'll go far.
One of the ways to be a good employee and survive your new job is to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and find out all you can about your fellow colleagues, projects, policies and department. Try building up your own understanding of the department you’re operating in. This can take time, but it also shows to your new colleagues, just how interested you are in the company and in them!
Learn people’s names, find out a bit about them, spend time with people in a one-on-one fashion. This may not include everyone, especially if your colleagues work in satellite offices or you’re in a large department, but try getting to know the key personnel you’re interacting with on a frequent basis. Grab a coffee, lunch, or ask them if they’d be willing to spend ten minutes with you; that way you can figure out their role in the company, and your future correspondence will feel more personal with them.
If you receive advice and comments from your manager within the first few weeks, make sure you take note and heed it. Implement it as best you can, assuming it makes sense to you. The first few months (particularly in large corporations) are a trial period learning communication styles, how people work and interact. Observe and spend time gleaning from others during this crucial time.
Not always easy, but the key to your success depends partly on being able to keep your ego in-check and having a positive attitude. Even if you think you’ve been there and done that before (which you may have), the company you’re working for will have its own way of doing things and handling things. Maybe you can offer some insights into how things were practiced at your last firm and can add value to the new company's internal policies and procedures.
It’s essential to ask lots of really great questions in your new role. You tend to get good quality answers in return too! Don’t be afraid to ask what you think might be stupid or ignorant questions; at least it shows you’re listening and thinking strategically - important qualities your new employer is probably looking for.
Make honesty and integrity a practice that you want to maintain and keep. Be honest with yourself but also those you interact with. They’ll respect you much more if honesty and integrity are your core operating styles.
If you take notes of your findings from all of the above, you can begin piecing together the results into your own personal plan of attack and formulate your own professional development goals. Everyone needs personal goals, aside from the company's work that they’re doing. That way, work doesn’t feel so meaningless or like you're just showing up. Before your first review session, think up and devise your own personal plan of professional goals; maybe there’s a training you want to attend or an industry-specific conference you need to go to. Review periods are a great time to let your manager know that you have professional goals you want to accomplish aside from your day-to-day work.
The above steps show initiative and proactive qualities; all traits that every new employer wants to see. It can take time (between three to six months), to really carve out your identity in a new role and add value to a company, so hang in there, but hopefully these ways are a good place to start. What are some ways that have helped you keep your new job?
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