By Beth Hales, AgCareers.com Director of Talent Solutions
Making a career move can be both exciting and daunting. The impression you make and your performance in that new employee honeymoon period can determine if you are going to fit in culturally, and ultimately be successful within the organization. Here are a few key things to remember as you go about making sure your new manager and co-workers feel that hiring you was a great decision your first week on the job.
It should go without saying that you should arrive early, with a ready-to-learn attitude and an open mind. Within every organization, there will be unspoken cultural norms to tune in to, so ask questions, listen and observe closely. Be professional in all aspects, and that includes not getting sucked into the water cooler gossip. If you treat everyone with respect, whether they’ve earned it or not, you will be much better off in the long run. Integrity is one of the top attributes of a leader, and demonstrating it builds trust regardless of what level of position you hold.
You want to hit the ground running, impress your manager,and share all your fresh ideas on how to do things, but wait…there is some investigation that needs to be done first. Make it your mission to gain a sound understanding of “why things are the way they are” before you jump in to solve problems. Do this by ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS. The habit promoted by Stephen Covey: “Seek first to understand, and then be understood” applies here.
Be proactive in communicating back and forth with your co-workers. If your manager communicates something to you via email, take the time to communicate back that you received it, and if it’s a request, when it will be handled. When you are new, this simple act helps prove your accountability right from the start (you do of course have to follow it with doing exactly what you said you would do). If you are asked to lead a project or initiative, it is always good practice to repeat what you understand the assignment to be. This way, there is less room for misinterpretation, and others feels good about next steps and your level of accountability.
Find ways to be clear about what you should make a priority and block your calendar accordingly. This will help you focus and minimize the pitfalls that come with being too easily distracted. It will also help you manage others’ expectations as to what you will achieve and when. Most importantly, stick to it! If you have blocked time to complete a task, close your door and politely tell others that unless it is an emergency, you are not available.
And the list goes on. But mastering these four will get you well on your way to wowing your boss your first week on the job. If you are still in the process of landing your dream job, be sure to become a follower of AgCareers.com, to see the latest positions offered by the leading companies in agribusiness.