I’ve had a diverse range of roles and companies for which to work,and I’ve learned a lot.
You won’t work well with everyone
I was lucky in my jobs previous jobs, but my first challenged me to cope in ways I didn’t know I was capable of.
Some people have different working styles than you do. Some people won’t like you. Some people will be jealous, or competitive, or feel threatened. And some people will write you off as the newbie and take that as an opportunity to be as holier-than-thou as humanly possible. Try to be the bigger person and move past it.
Proof read emails. And then proof read them again. And then run them by somebody.
Especially as the newbie in the office, you don’t want to be sending out messages that are less than, well, perfect.
My first mega indiscretion during my first internship was sending out a mass email to executives, managers, and supervisors without having somebody else look at it. I had proofread it several times, but having a second set of eyes for extremely important emails is infinitely helpful. I didn’t confirm a date, and while that may seem minor, a coworker was a stickler for the details and had me email out a massive apology letter for not having proofread my email. It was embarrassing, and to this day I still try to get somebody to proof my emails if I am sending them to more than just my normal work group.
Write things down
I have a pretty good memory, and don’t usually need a pen and paper to remember a file path or a fact. But having a pen and paper and writing everything down is expected of you when you first start in an organization, and there are so many people that will think you’re incompetent if you don’t do this. So, even if you don’t feel like you need to write every fact down, do.
I’ve also had a few people demand I write things down and seem a little annoyed when I didn’t. I learned quickly to always bring a pen and pad of paper with me.
Ask for feedback
If you ask for feedback, your manager will be more willing to give it to you and you can build upon your performance from there.
It also shows that you care about your job and that you want to improve your performance. Book a half-hour meeting with your supervisor and ask what they think your strengths and weaknesses are, and be sure to ask how they think you can improve.
This shows initiative and also is extremely helpful to you.
Go for lunch with the team
In my first internship, I made excuses to get out of going for lunch with my department. They’d sometimes eat their lunches together in the boardroom, and I’d avoid that too. I felt like I didn’t know anyone and thought it would make me uncomfortable to have to eat with them.
The thing I didn’t really realize is that I wouldn’t get to know anyone if I didn’t make the effort, and I couldn’t very well be socializing on the job, so lunch time is the perfect opportunity.
It will definitely be a little uncomfortable for you at first, but after a couple of days you should be able to contribute to the conversation.
Would you add anything to this list? How would you start off on the right foot if you were new in your job?