NEW JOB? Here are Six Tips to Help you Succeed.

By Dr. Nancy Koury King

Just started a new job? You are probably filled with excitement and maybe some nervousness. Keep that excitement, but also aware that statistically, nearly half of all new hires don’t work out within the first 18 months. This is according to a study done by Leadership IQ. In my own research for my book, “Fired: How to Manage Your Career in the Age of Job Uncertainty,” starting a new job and getting a new boss were the top predictors of job loss. Use these six tips to help you make a smooth and positive transition to your new position.

1. First, seek to understand. Your first 90 days are gift! This is your opportunity to learn about the company, the people, the politics, and most important, the culture. Your co-workers and your supervisor want to know that you care what they know and how they do things. Show them you do by listening, observing and doing your work the way they want you to.

2. Do your work as best you can. You will earn credibility by learning and doing the job you were hired to do well. This demonstrates that you listened to and followed the directions, manuals or other instruction you were given.

3. Get to know your co-workers. It’s not unusual for your co-workers to be a little nervous when you join the team. They may wonder if you will fit in or worse, if you will outshine them. So it is important for you to calm their unspoken fears and get to know them. You don’t have to become friends, but by building a positive relationship and allowing them to help you learn, you will ease their concerns.

4. Write your ideas down. You are going to see lots of ways to make improvements. For the first couple months, unless you are directly asked for your advice, pump your brakes. Yes, I know they hired you for your experience and expertise. And you probably do know a better way. BUT— people don’t care what you know until they know you care. Once you’ve gotten to know the work routine, the team and your boss, then it’s okay to pick an item or two off your list to talk with your supervisor about. See how that goes, then ask your supervisor if you can come to them with your ideas.

5. Do not get pulled into the gossip mill. Seriously, don’t. People will try to get you to comment negatively on the company, a co-worker or your boss. They may try to get you to align with one group or another. Stay out of the fray, but continue to be friendly.

6. Keep your supervisor informed. At first, it’s hard to know at first how much communication she or he would like. Err on the side of more communication. And remember, you want to become a pleasant part of their day.

The most common reason that people lose their jobs within the first 18 months is because someone decided they “weren’t a fit.” Use these tips to show your new employer that not only can you do your job well, you understand the culture of the organization.

Dr. Nancy Koury King

Nancy Koury King, DM