So, you’ve landed a new job – congratulations! However, your hard work securing the interviews and contract is just the beginning. Your next challenge will be to work on making a stellar impression on your colleagues, clients, and boss.
But since judging the line between overconfidence and timidity can be tricky, we’ve put together a handy guide to standing out in your position. You’ll be gunning for that promotion in no time!
Master the art of “friendly professionalism”
Sure, it’s the quality of your work which will prove your value more generally, but leaving a positive impression in the workplace also depends on how well you relate to your co-workers and boss on an interpersonal level.
Leverage your newness to reach out and make connections. Ask questions; show yourself as enthusiastic and curious, but not overbearing. Prove to your colleagues and superiors that you can be both friendly and professional.
When you’re judging how much is too much, remember that every workplace is different. You might have landed your dream job in a new country and are ‘starting’ over culturally. Especially if you’re starting a new position overseas, you should watch for a different office culture than what you’re used to. You might want to sit back and quietly assess for a couple of days before climbing your way up the ladder.
Demonstrate your openness to feedback
The ability to take on and apply constructive feedback is the leading sign of a self-starter. Not only will you impress your boss with your readiness to better your working skills, but you’ll also learn how to build up the layers of resilience and perseverance which you’ll need to sustain you through rougher weeks.
It’s easier said than done, but try not to take feedback personally. Separate your personal character from your work achievements, create a bullet-point document of the advice and criticism you’ve been given, and endeavor to work on those weaknesses in the future.
Show your versatility
No CEO has ever gotten to where they are by adhering strictly to their job description. To prove to your employers that you’re capable of much more, let them know that you’re ready to take on fresh challenges.
Whether it’s a new client, a new training program, or even the chance to take up a role as the office social organizer, saying a tactful “yes” to new work-related opportunities will get you pushing the limits of your job description (and so pushing onto your boss’ radar).
Work on your leadership skills
One of the first things people look for in new employees is their leadership potential.
Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean bossing others around, either (which you might not have space to do in your current position, anyway). You can exhibit your ability to lead by bringing your working group together in cooperation, and by proving your keenness to help others out when they need it.
Focus on making an impact in person – not online
Contribute meaningfully on the office floor and through action, not just by participating in email threads or spending all your time promoting your LinkedIn. Personal branding goes further than digital profiles: prove to your officemates that you’re an invaluable face-to-face contact by opting for an in-person chat over an internet message, and show them how intelligent, engaged, and motivated you really are.
Just work hard
You can try all the tricks and shortcuts in the book, but if you’re going to follow one overarching principle, let it be the tried-and-true precept that hard work pays off (if not immediately, eventually). Avoid petty coworker competition, make the most of the hours you’re on shift, aspire to improve every day, and you’ll probably start to stand out without realizing it.
Allison’s work on a diverse range of topics including career, travel and lifestyle can be found on various sites, and she has previously collaborated with business sites such as Omega. To see more of her published work, visit her Tumblr profile.