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New Kid on the Block
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New Kid on the Block

So the interview went wonderfully, you got the call back, and now, you start on Monday! Fabulous! Now, all you have to do is show up – which unfortunately, can sometimes be the hardest part.

Being the new guy or new girl at work can be a challenge. First impressions, particularly in the workplace, can be lasting ones, so make sure you put your best foot forward from day one. Here’s how:

Do your homework Step in to your new job knowing as much as you can about both your new company and your role within it. An easy place to start is the web – read all you can on the company’s website and blog, then search for what others have published online about your employer. If you were handed any information before your start date, such as an employee handbook, review it before your first day, and be ready with questions.

Assert your dominance (but not too much) In Hannah Seligson’s book New Girl On the Job: Advice from the Trenches, she calls it “finding the middle ground between b**** and doormat,” and whether you’re the new guy or the new girl, it still rings true. While you want to exhibit a strong desire to be helpful and proactive, don’t get in the habit of doing other people’s job for them. As a newcomer, you have the ability to play the na├»ve card and ask, “Is this a typical responsibility for the (insert your job title)?” That should send a pretty clear message that you are not one to be stepped on.

Find a Mentor If there is a seasoned co-worker or manager who you seem to click with, latch on to that relationship. Having a mentor in the office will help you learn more quickly and could be an advocate for you if a promotion becomes available. However, don’t be a pest. If your men-tor doesn’t want a men-tee, he or she will make it clear.

Brand yourself Just like Volvo means “safe” and Nike means “competitor”, you want your co-workers to associate your name with a quality that’s your personal strength. Tend to be a very detail-oriented person? When you complete a project, plug yourself as being extremely thorough. Bring up your attention to detail every chance you get. Before you know it, you’ll have gained the reputation for having the most meticulous eyes in the office.

Make friends! While you may not want to reveal your twisted sense of humor on your very first day, do your best to make friends with your co-workers as soon as you’re comfortable. Even if someone appears to have nothing in common with you, a friendly conversation can go a long way. Just be careful not to bond over badmouthing a co-worker or boss. Gossiping is an easy way to lose respect – or even your job.

Walking into a new office can be nerve-racking, but don’t give up! Show your stuff (and talk about it somewhat loudly) and you’ll soon be noticed as the superstar you are.

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