Starting a new job can be stressful and exciting. You want to make sure you succeed at your new company, so you try to make a good impression by meeting your boss' expectations. But even though you may try to learn the ropes, it can still take some time to get acclimated to your new job's culture. And, in fact, usually the first three months in your new position are an extension of the interview process. It's important to show up every day ready to prove what you have promised you would deliver.
"Success isn’t necessarily measured by what’s been achieved, but how you’ve grown and acclimated yourself since your first day. By month one you’ll want to start growing your network — you’ll soon see that these relationships are your professional lifeline. Once you’ve identified what’s expected of you, set goals for yourself and determine a reasonable timeline to achieve them. Success is if you still feel challenged, but have digested and understood the main components of your job. Don't expect perfection — but comprehension is important," says Jess Weiner, confidence expert and CEO of Talk to Jess, in an interview with Bustle over email.
While succeeding at your new job does depend on your performance, there are a lot of other ways to prove to your boss that you deserve this position that go beyond day-to-day tasks. Below are 11 ways to succeed at your new job.
1. Be Friendly
It's easier to work with someone you like, right? Be the type of colleague you would like to work with by being friendly with your coworkers. "Make a strong first impression on your colleagues by preparing informal, conversational questions that will help you connect with them on a personal level. By always turning the conversation back on them, you show interest in learning about them as a person, not just as a colleague," says co-founder and CMO of the mobile employment app Wirkn Todd Dean in an email with Bustle.
2. Ask For An Initial Review
"Ask for feedback once you have familiarized yourself with your role, around week three of employment. It is best to understand expectations and make the necessary changes before forming habits. Preparing questions for both your boss and team members can ensure beneficial feedback," says Dean. Asking for a review after a month of being at your job will impress your boss. It will show him/her that you want to improve and become better in your role.
3. Be Ambitious, But Don’t Rock The Boat
While it's important to be confident, you don't want to step on someone's toes. "Contribute and make recommendations for improvement, but do so within reason. As a new hire, you may not have the context about why a policy or process was set in place. Asking questions first will help you understand and assess processes accordingly," says Dean.
4. Sacrifice Time To Build Dependability
Your boss hired you because he/she thought that you would be a great addition to the team. Make sure you show your boss that you're dedicated by staying off your phone and getting to the office early. "Take some extra time to arrive early, stay a bit later, and take shorter lunch breaks during the first month. Showing dedication as much and often as possible will help you stand out and build dependability amongst the team. An often overlooked tip is that more face time with the boss the better," says Dean.
5. Network To Understand Structure
While it's important to know your immediate team, it's vital to connect with other people who aren't necessarily in your department. "Meet new people to learn more about the company beyond your direct role and understand how teams collaborate. This will make you better equipped to contribute and thrive in the current culture. Trying to make one new connection a day at work helps build your network to understand where you fit in in the organization," says Dean.
6. Work To Enhance Credibility
The first few months at your new job are important. You need to prove to yourself and your boss that you deserve to be there. As long as you're passionate and you have a good work ethic, then you will mostly succeed. "Go above and beyond when asked to complete specific tasks so people learn to rely on you for future projects. A company can train an employee to do a skill, but it can’t teach work ethic or passion. Finishing a project doesn’t mean hop on social media, but rather be proactive and find other ways to make yourself useful," says Dean.
7. Find A Mentor
While this might be hard to do in the beginning, it's always a good idea to find someone who you can go to when you need career advice. "Strong leadership is the foundation for a good company. Finding the right mentor to inspire, motivate and provide strategic direction will lead you on the path to success," says Weiner.
8. Connect With Your Team
"It’s rewarding to bounce creative ideas off of one another and come up with activations that demonstrate originality and innovation. Embrace the opportunity to connect with your team. It will stimulate professional growth," says Weiner. It's easy to get inspired at work when you surround yourself with creative people. Introduce yourself to your teammates so they can feel comfortable enough to come to you when they want to collaborate. You'll succeed at your new job if you know you can work well with your colleagues.
9. Communicate With Others
In the first few weeks of a new job, it's important to understand how things are done. Don't be afraid to ask questions. It's a great way to learn the ropes so you can become a better team player. "The best way to acclimate yourself to your new job is to ask questions, express when you’re confused, and share your ideas," says Weiner.
Being successful at a new company doesn't mean that you always have to bring new ideas to the table. It's just as important to listen to your boss's feedback so you can improve your performance. "I always look for good listeners when I’m hiring. Proving yourself doesn’t have to be proactive. Listening is a great way to improve your work performance and minimize any misunderstandings," says Weiner.
11. Be Resourceful
While it's normal to ask questions to figure how things work, your boss and colleagues will appreciate it if you try to figure things out for yourself. Doing this can show them that you're resourceful. "Don’t rely on your manager or co-workers to help with every task you’re given. Utilize your resources, whether it’s the Internet, office files, or company manual, to figure out how to get your job done. Seek guidance along the way if you want to ensure you’re on the right track," says Weiner.
12. Observe Your Surroundings
It's important to get familiar with your surroundings at the office so you can become comfortable working there. You'll most likely produce better work if you feel at home at your new job. "While it’s important to focus on your work, it’s also critical to observe your colleagues and the office culture. At this point, you’ll be able to do this subjectively before you get wrapped up in your day-to-day responsibilities. This will help you easily adapt to the new environment," says Weiner.
13. Be Confident
One of the best ways to succeed at a new job is to believe in yourself. Build enough confidence so you can deal with negative feedback and explain your pitches to your boss without being shy about them. "A strong handshake, eye contact and steady voice can go a long way. Don’t compare yourself to your colleagues. Instead, recognize your strengths and play up those attributes," says Weiner.
Remember one thing: your boss hired you for a reason. Don't let your self-doubt prevent you from succeeding. All you need to do is be ambitious, form true connections, and show initiative. You got this.