7 Deadly Sins…

Posted on June 3rd, 2010 by

…for New Hires
Congratulations, you landed the job!  The hard part is over right?  Not exactly.  Your first few weeks in a new company are crucial.  And it’s not just mastering the technical skills that can bring challenges.  How you behave in your new work environment is just as, if not more, important.


Avoid these newbie errors:
 – Ignoring the Culture:
  How much should you socialize?  Do coworkers prefer phone calls, emails, or face-to-face conversations?  Dress shoes or sneakers?  Many aspects of a work culture can be subtle – tap into them and you’ll feel instantly more at home.  Observe everything – going in thirty minutes early and staying a little late to watch how your coworkers conduct themselves (when they get their coffee, where they take their lunches, how they wrap up at the end of the day) can be a great way to start. 
 – Arrogance:
  Listen and learn – don’t go into the position insisting on doing everything your way.
– Hiding Out:
  On the flip side, don’t be too timid.  Work on building relationships with those you work with from day one.  Start with asking others about their role in the company – it’s an easy question that will get you talking and help you piece together the layout with more ease.
– Not Clarifying Expectations:
 If you don’t know what’s expected of you, it’s hard to deliver.  Meet with your supervisor right away to discuss expectations, responsibilities, and what success for you would look like.  Ask all the questions you can think of and check back in every now and again.
– Refusing to Admit Mistakes:
 Don’t worry, all new hires make mistakes – it goes with the territory.  Simply accept ownership, learn, make said correction, and move on.  Nicely done.
– Rocking the Boat:
 Hold off on implementing changes before you get others to back your idea – and particularly before you understand why things are done the way they are.  Once you know the reason, it might make things suddenly seem like they are running smoothly.
– Not Asking for Feedback:
 Don’t wait six months or a year to find out how you are doing in your new position.  Schedule a quick meeting with your manager after one month to see if everything is off on the right foot.  This demonstrates your investment in your career, and allows you a chance to correct anything that you’ve been doing that turns out to not be helpful.  Another learning opportunity!

* Adopted from the San Francisco Chronicle


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