Going into a new workplace is like navigating in a new land, where you don’t know the people, don’t know the language, and you need to spend time before you figure out how it works. However being guarded and extra cautious can sometimes lead to making inadvertent mistakes, which can be hard to recover from. It is important that you start off on the right foot in a new job. Thankfully, we have listed some potential pitfalls that you can avoid when you join your new job:
Not establishing clarity
At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, a lot of new employees quietly go along with what they are told, in terms of their work, responsibilities and other deliverables, thinking they can always clarify later. But you need to be upfront about clarifying your exact role, metrics to measuring your performance, and what resources and assistance you will need to perform your responsibilities ably. It is essential to ensure that your seniors and managers are on the same page as yourself. Furthermore, evoking clarity on small things like work timings, processes, policies and related things is important from the first day.
Not making an effort to adapt
It might have been okay to take work home in your last organisation, or have lunch at your desk, but things might work differently in your current organisation. And hence, you need to walk to extra mile to change according to the culture of the new office. If needed, come in early, and notice how things work. Notice how employees prefer communicating with each other, and how things are done, in meetings, on calls, during lunch, and follow the lead. Use the first few lunches with your new colleagues, to fully understand the unsaid rules of your new office.
Asking too many or too less questions
In a bid to appear to too inquisitive, or too knowledgeable, new employees end up asking too many or too less questions, respectively. Both are equally problematic, for there needs to be a balance in asking only relevant and pertinent questions. Do not bundle up all your questions together, or go into a shell in meetings, but pick a convenient time and a colleague who is likely to reciprocate in a friendly manner. It is important to come across as someone who is open to learning, but not someone who doesn’t pull their weight in a team.
Trying too hard
From putting in extra hours just for the sake of it, or by adding colleagues you barely remember the names of on social media, or by being extremely formal in order to impress or too informal to establish proximity, or cc’ing every you know in your official communication, you might not even realise when you end up trying too hard to fit in. This also includes over-promising on your targets, and trying to project yourself as over-ambitious. If you try to portray an image of yourself that is untrue to your real self, people around you will sense it, and it will eventually work against you.
Assuming you know better
The biggest danger possibly arrives from assuming that you have been brought in to revolutionarize the company. Do not brag about your previous achievements or last job at every opportunity you get, or pass snide remarks about how things work presently. Sure, you have been hired because you are expected to add value to the organisation, but you need to establish that over time, making a case for yourself, rather than going guns blazing from day one. You need to use your experience and skills to add to the discussions and meetings, and not only highlight the current weaknesses and challenges in the present situation.
These and a lot of other small and subtle mistakes can lay a rocky foundation into your new job, but are also easily avoidable. At the end of the day, you need to be true to your ideals and beliefs, and be open to change, learning, new experiences, and new skills, to be fully able to make of the latest work opportunity in your career.