The first few days for an employee at a new job are, among the most crucial. His or her experiences during this period have the potential to make or break enthusiasm for returning to their cubicle each morning. So, what’s the best strategy for getting through that first week? The new employee must summon all his or her acting skills and follow some guidelines outlined below. A little bit of careful preparation could turn that acid test into surprisingly smooth sailing.
It may only be ones first day on the job, but first things first he or she needs to know the person who will be signing their appraisal form when the big day arrives. No harm could come of bowing before the one who wields power in the office sphere. Be sure to be attentive each time you bump into her in those first few days. This is important if you want this all important person to consider you a ‘nice guy’.
Every boss worth his salt always has along list of impossible goals for his subordinates. Presumably, your new boss will have one ready for you, and you will probably be expected to achieve them immediately. Irrespective of your capabilities, act excited each time he hands you an assignment and maintain the image of a good worker. A word of caution here is do not overact but be proactive. Overacting may lead to employee’s own peril. Squeals of excitement could misrepresent the real degree of ones enthusiasm and could result in getting more assignments than other less enthusiastic, members in the team.
Now turn to everyday survival kit. Next in the power hierarchy is boss’s personal assistant. His mood at the start of each day should be a barometer in knowing how cheerful or grumpy the boss is that particular day. Gauge the day’s mood of the boss and accordingly plan your discussions with him.
If you are the kind that expects detailed information about calls or even gossip about you and others that you missed, get on back slapping terms with the office peon and receptionist as soon as possible. They are the true news bearers, even in this age of advanced technology.
The first few days will be a test of your patience, too. You may find yourself at the mercy of more than one dim-witted person who, because he or she has been in the organization longer than you, will feel compelled to give you basic “how-to” lessons on everything from photo copying to using the internal email system. Do not let this disturb your image of as a happy go lucky person. Remember there’s virtue in asking. Knowing what to ask whom will be the key to survival at this crucial juncture. So go ahead and ask those trivial questions, the answer to which (supposedly) everyone but you knows. Take every opportunity to break the ice with colleagues. You will be amazed at how helpful people are, once they are sure you are not competing with them.
Going one step further, you could actually use your act of ignorance and your new colleagues ‘belief’ in your ignorance as a defense mechanism. If you make a mistake, accept it, and say you weren’t aware things were to be done differently. Acceptance coupled with a simpler “Oh really? I didn’t know! Is a good enough shield to cover initial mistakes.
There is merit in talking less and listening more, at least until you’ve set up base in your new environment. This will help prevent those foot in mouth situations that could so easily arose when you the newest person in the group. For instance, unaware of common biases of the group you want to become a part of, you may make your dislike for Chinese Cuisine known a tad too soon or too force fully. For all you know Chinese is exactly what your boss just ordered for lunch.
Winning friends anywhere, especially at the office, involves a good amount of effort and acting, too. For insurance, playing the part of a good natured colleague willing to stay back and help out with a project cheerfully could be difficult for someone who is not really good natured. Similarly spending a considerable amount of time at the water cooler making small talk, when you’d rather be working on your presentation or report, is not always easy.
Thus a lot of thinking goes into managing one’s image. Hardworking, happy go lucky or goody two shoes your office image should not be at too much of a variance with who you really are. After al, the repercussions can be risky. Often, the most hardworking person is the one burdened with all the work, while others take it easy. The need of the hour is a smart worker and not just a hard worker.