You've made it past a crucial point in your career, getting a new
job. So, is this the time to kick back and relax with your new employment?
If you intend to keep that job and succeed in your career, it's time for the
real work to begin.
Throughout the first year of employment, employers
will be keeping tabs to make sure new employees are worth the investment.
It's up to you, the employee, to prove that hiring you was a wise decision.
To do so, carefully consider the goals you wish to accomplish with this job.
Tailor your actions, words and appearance to meet those goals.
what you were hired to do, and doing it well, is essential to being included
on your employer's A list.
"Show initiative," says Linda Havers. She
is the coordinator of career development with a college. "See what needs to
be done and do it."
Havers has a suggestion on how you can learn what
needs to be done: "Talk to people you identify as high performers about the
challenges. Then, should an opportunity arise, perhaps you can solve the problem
and become an asset to the company."
Brent Wood is a career counselor
and co-founder of a career management company. He agrees that keeping up
communication with co-workers is important when you're new on the job. "Find
areas within the department or company where you can make yourself useful.
Build up a skills base and connect with other members of the organization
who can help you down the road," he advises.
Another way in which you
can play a productive role in the work environment is to always be the first
to volunteer. Through volunteering, you can demonstrate your willingness to
take on additional responsibilities. That is a quality employers look for
when it comes time for promotions.
Never show up for work late. Latecomers
are likely to be labeled unreliable. Try to show up early. That gives you
extra time to plan your day and make sure assignments will be done on schedule.
If your work is always done on time, your employer will recognize you as someone
on whom they can depend.
Dressing for success should not stop at the
job interview. Be perceptive and take note of how those succeeding in your
"Think in terms of playing the game," Wood explains.
"If you want to work your way up, abide by the culture of the company."
your attire, your attitude can speak volumes about your work ethic. Havers
believes a positive attitude is a key factor in job success. A poor attitude
can sometimes lead to termination. Complaining won't get you anywhere with
your employer or co-workers. So, always try to have an upbeat and enthusiastic
approach to your work.
Willingness to learn is a close second to productivity
when it comes to important qualities. There are four things you can do to
demonstrate to your employer that you're always open to new information.
1. Listen carefully. Listening is the best way you can learn about
where you work and what is expected of you. Be sure to pay close attention
2. Ask questions. "Better to ask questions
than to do something and find out you're going down the wrong path. It also
shows confidence and your willingness to listen," says Wood. Another good
point about asking questions is that it gives you the opportunity to develop
a mentoring relationship with someone. "This can be very valuable," Wood adds.
"They can help you learn the ropes."
3. Be open to criticism.
Never appear offended should someone criticize your work. Instead, consider
what you can do to make it better.
4. Seek additional training.
Find out what kind of training your workplace might offer to help you gain
more skills that could be useful to your position. If training isn't offered,
make your employer aware that you are seeking all possibilities to make you
a better employee. Ask if he or she knows of any resource that you might use
to further your knowledge.
Be honest about your abilities from the very
beginning. "If you're dishonest on your application or resume as to what you
can do, you might create enemies and people will read right through you. Plus
you might get fired," says Wood.
It's much better to be up front about
what you can and cannot do than to waste your or your employer's time with
Don't offer more than you can deliver. While a certain amount
of confidence is respectable, overdoing it can put you in an embarrassing
position of turning in mediocre work and highlighting your shortcomings.
worked hard and feel you've paid your dues. How do you approach your employer
about a raise? "If you're interested in a raise, the best way of asking is
by detailing your performance over the past six months to one year. What have
you done and what can you do in the future?" says Havers.
of your accomplishments so you will be prepared for what can be a stressful
career moment. Rest assured that your efforts will result in a bright career