Complaining not only ruins everybody else’s day, it ruins the complainer’s day, too. The more we complain, the more unhappy we get. –Dennis Prager
Your first ninety days at work is a great time to show your flexibility, eagerness to learn and your willingness to adapt to your company’s culture. Being a successful new employee requires that you put your best foot forward and demonstrate all those great qualities you showcased in your interviews. Listen carefully to what your boss wants and get yourself to accomplish the requested tasks. Here are seven tips on how to survive and keep your new job and one thing you should never do especially during this introductory phase.
Remember, you were hired to help solve problems and accomplish certain tasks. Your first few months at work is the time to make a great first impression to your co-workers and your boss. This is your chance to brand yourself as positive, hard-working, efficient, and open to learning from others. The best new hires come early, stay late (if necessary) and do whatever is necessary to get their job done and learn to excel at their new role. Projecting a positive attitude and being competent in your role is what will earn you the reputation as a team-player and as a go-to person. Conversely, complaining could get you typecast as an outsider/detractor from the group and peg you as someone who puts a damper on the overall positive atmosphere.
As a new hire, make sure to avoid being labeled as a downer and recognize that even if things aren’t exactly as you expected you’re better off keeping your complaints to yourself (at least till you have learned the ropes). Don’t make too many judgements of your firm initially as it may be that you entered the group during an off week where things weren’t running as usual. Give the job, your co-workers and your boss the benefit of the doubt and focus on being an asset to them.
If you’re really unhappy at the firm and your dissatisfaction persists after the first ninety days, there are tactful ways to address your complaints with management. Try to assess what tools you need to be maximally successful and be tactful in how you ask for these things: Never whine about minor issues or make snide comments about flaws you notice in the organization or in other people. Remember that everything you say can be interpreted as a plus or a minus by your co-workers and your boss, so try to convey an image that will reflect your most likable side.
Stand out as a desirable new hire
1. Behave professionally: Don’t waste time. A joke or two is ok but make sure you stay on task.
2. Take criticism gracefully: It will provide you with valuable insights about yourself and what people expect from you. Don’t become defensive and try to hold off from quipping with a knee jerk response. Look for the kernel of truth in the idea and see where you can grow. Above all, don’t dwell on it. Move on and stick to your main objective which is to learn to perform all your tasks well and finish your work in a timely manner.
3. Learn to excel at your job! If you don’t know how to do something, go find out how to do it. Don’t make excuses for why you didn’t do it. Someone else will gladly replace you and figure it out. Find ways to enrich yourself that will improve your performance and dedicate sometime after hours to learning a new skill that your boss needs.
4. Cultivate good relationships with co-workers in your organization. Avoid associating with negative employees who mistreat, disrespect or complain about the company.
5. Be part of the solution: Be a problem solver: If you go to your boss with a problem, go with at least one solution. Keep your ego out of it if she doesn’t accept your solution. Offering solutions is always better than being a complainer. Remember, it’s the most adept problem solvers who get raises and promotions.
6. Always be productive. Don’t allow projects to sit on your desk for days on end. Finish your tasks quickly and be sure to double-check your work for accuracy.
7. Volunteer to help: Don’t worry about receiving credit for your work. Be a team player and find areas where you can offer your skills to move the project forward. Your boss probably notices more than you think. Stay focused on how you can add value above and go beyond your job description.
To summarize… successful new hires
Focus on : Learning his/her new tasks
Focus on: Adapting to the company’s culture
Focus on: Providing high quality work
Focus on: Being a problem solver
Focus on: Expressing appreciation for a boss or co-worker who helped you out. It may encourage them to do it again
Focus on: Finding new ways to Pitch In to get the job done
Never: Complain, whine or unload your personal problems at work. You can assume that your boss has her own problems. You are there to lighten her load and contribute to overall productivity. Keeping your personal life private shows you’re a professional. The recipe for success is simple: Say Little, Do A lot and keep a positive attitude about your work at all times. You’ll attract positive attention for being affable and helpful. For more about the benefits of positivity in the workplace see my recent post:
Beth is Founder and President of Get Hired, LLC. She advises students on how to bridge the gap from school to career. Beth is the co-author of From Diploma to Dream Job: Five Overlooked Steps to a Successful Career. Her coaching assists students and career changers to successfully match their needs, interests, passions, skills, and personal goals with the needs of a sustainable industry in a sustainable location. She is a resource for print and online media and offers workshops for University Career Service Departments, Executive Recruiters, Outplacement Services, College Guidance Counselors and College Alumni Associations. See website for more details about Beth’s services www.fromdiploma2dreamjob.com. Beth’s Webinar was sponsored by George Washington University’s Career Services Dept. for their worldwide alumni association: Leverage Your College Diploma. You can follow Beth on twitter @BethKuhel