As a new recruit to an organization, the learning curve can be steep. We’ve all been there — the first day can just seem like a blur of new faces and paperwork.
Here’s a few tips to keep in mind as you start a new gig:
Be confident. As the new kid on the block, it can be overwhelming and intimidating to be working with people who may have been in the business longer than you’ve been alive. But, look at your colleagues as people you can learn from — they have valuable experience to share, if you’re willing to listen and apply their shared knowledge.
Your company, boss and colleagues wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t think you had potential, so live up to — or exceed — their expectations. Don’t be afraid to offer your opinions. Act maturely in everything you do and say, but don’t come across as a know-it-all. Being humble and willing to learn is an asset.
Be open to constructive criticism. In the first few years of your career, you’re probably going to make some mistakes. Lots of them. Better just go on and get used to it now.
When you do receive feedback on your performance, work to not take it personally. Usually, your colleague or boss isn’t trying to hurt your feelings as a person — they’re trying to help you grow and do/be better.
Pay attention to details. Like it or not, we work in a details business. From details in a story to emails to even how you dress, details are important! If you constantly come to work looking sloppy, that says a lot about your performance on the job. If you don’t proofread copy before sending it to your boss, it says you get in a hurry. If you use text speak in your emails, it says you aren’t mature enough to handle the job.
Find ways to add value. Anything that comes across your desk or email — or even ideas — should be enhanced after you’ve touched it. Ask yourself, how can I make this better? And then do it.
Mind your manners — especially with cell phones. Cell phones are a wonderful tool, but they can get you into trouble. If your organization doesn’t have a policy on cell phones, err on the side of caution and professionalism. Keep your phone on silent and don’t answer personal calls or texts while you’re at work unless it’s an emergency. Don’t take your phone with you to meetings or keep it in your pocket — it will be too much of a temptation to look at it if you know it’s there or feel it vibrate during the meeting. And don’t waste time on social media unless it’s work-related.
-Sarah Hill, editor, DairyBusiness East and DairyBusiness West