So, you’ve finally landed that big break, and you’re about to begin what could be the defining role of your career, the job that turns everything around for you and gives you a chance to make a name for yourself. What next? While the internet is full of advice for starting your new job – from how to make a stellar first impression to what that work outfit really says about you-you probably already know the basics about what to do right.
Show up on time, act courteously, never beat the boss in a game of table hockey and certainly don’t get caught drink driving like Mike Crapo. The basics are obvious. But it turns out there are a whole host of other pitfalls you could be opening yourself up to in the early days of doing your new job. Take a look and then avoid these actions at all costs.
Don’t Hide From The Boss
No one wants to make a negative impression on the person who holds the biggest sway over their career, but in trying to fit in and not ruffle feathers, you may well be missing the chance to make an interpersonal impact with your boss. This person is in charge of reviewing your performance, assisting (or checking) your progress, and often in charge of whether you get a raise or not. So flying completely under the radar isn’t advisable. You need to work towards a strong working relationship based on communications that’s as open as you can make it. This may well call for diplomacy at times, but learning how to manage upwards is part of developing a successful career.
…But Don’t Leave Your Career Up To Them
Learning how to shine in front of the boss is pretty important, but so is not solely rely on them to advance your career. You need to start conversations about how you can take on ‘stretch projects’ and try new things rather than waiting to be pushed – and likewise, gaining experience outside of your work in volunteering, and other capacities can be just as important to enhance your skills base. You must be your own best advocate. Look out for learning opportunities and present them to your boss. They should be pleased with you showing initiative.
Don’t Let Problems Go Unresolved
From time to time, unpleasant issues do arise between co-workers, and often because we feel awkward about provoking a confrontation, we choose to avoid the issue. But this is a toxic action – as you can’t easily avoid those that you work with, if you don’t resolve a problem it’s almost certain to result in bad feeling. You have to bite the bullet and face the issue head-on – without being aggressive. Learning how to have difficult work conversations is a huge skill set that will serve you well and marks you out as a team player.
Don’t Be Over-Friendly
Sometimes you can go the other way and make such an effort to become part of the team that you lose perspective. Feeling close to co-workers is great, but be careful not to let it blur the professional boundaries that you must maintain. Even if you feel relaxed, you need to remember that there is still always someone watching. Getting a reputation for being a party-hard person isn’t good news in most industries these days, so always be aware of the line.