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How to Start a New Job On the Right Foot

You just started a dream job and are eager to impress your boss, co-workers and management. How do you keep the honeymoon from going sour after your first week?

Users of career sites are bombarded with advice about getting a job and perhaps lowering the risk of being fired or laid off. But a recent post by career coach Rob Taub on the Careerealism blog offers something different: 10 thoughtul tips for starting off on the right foot once you've begun in a new job.

Here's our condensed version:

1. Get To Know The Key Players.

2. Remember Names.

If you forget a colleague's name right after you're introduced, look the person in the eye and say, "I'm sorry, could you tell me your name again?" Then practice using it from time to time.

3. Do Not Over-Do Conversation.

At the office, questions like "How was your weekend?" are nearly always intended as mere verbal pleasantries and should be answered with the pat response, "Very good," quickly followed by, "And how was yours?" If co-workers "get more than that before they really know you they will steer away the next time," Taub points out.

4. Observe How The Company Gets Things Done.

"Become a student of your managers and their leaders," advises Taub.

5. Be A Class Act...-

Which means, avoid getting drawn into gossip.

6. Gain The Confidence Of Others.

Give credit to others, both above and below you in the hierarchy. And defer to others, especially your boss, during your initial weeks. Taub suggests waiting 30 to 60 days before making any recommendations.

7. Keep Your Boss Informed,


8. Show Your Boss You Are Serious.

Ask the boss a couple of questions to open lines of communication, but make sure your queries don't come off as criticisms of people or procedure. Also, arrange a series of short meetings over a few weeks's time to ensure each of you are thinking and working in the same direction in terms of your responsibilities.

9. Record Your Observations and Ideas - For Use Much Later, Such as Your Review,


10. Keep Your Resume Updated.

Taub recommends keeping a diary of what you see that can be "improved, changed, accomplished." But never share this with co-workers.

Recording any and all accomplishments (even subtle ones) from day one - situations, opportunities, actions and results - will give you the evidence you'll ultimately need to document your value at your initial review.

AUTHORJon Jacobs Insider Comment
  • Le
    30 May 2011

    Coaching before entering a new job helps the new employee to examine the critical areas for success such as:
    · Does he understand clearly the business, its goals and methods of operation?
    · Does he have enough support that enables him to enter the job effectively and fast as possible?
    · Does he feel that he is moving in the appropriate pace and direction?
    · To solve administrative problems.
    · How to be seen in the organization and what to do to achieve it?
    · Examines the values and goals which he wants to implement his new job.
    · Build long-term goals and derive goals for the near future.
    · Make a plan relating to the personal vision and objectives.
    · Fosters leadership.

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