Strategies for new job success.

Starting a new job is like meeting your future in-lawsfirst impressions count. Whether youre a new employee, taking on additional responsibilities in your current position or changing jobs within the same firm or company, here are several tips to help you put your best foot forward.

Study the companys culture. Be attuned to the subtleties of the firms environmentfrom department policies and procedures to how people interact with one another.

Reduce your learning curve. Master the positions responsibilities as quickly as possible by asking questions and seeking out unofficial mentors who can show you the ropes. Many companies and firms have formal mentoring programs for this purpose, but in those that dont it pays to be resourceful.

Be a team player. Volunteer for assignments even if they fall outside your immediate job description. This will allow you to learn about other areas of responsibility while demonstrating your sense of teamwork.

See the big picture. In your eagerness to hit the ground running, dont become overly concerned with the size of your part of a specific project. Instead, familiarize yourself with department goals and the companys strategic plan.

Make yourself indispensable. From the outset, take the steps necessary to make yourself an invaluable resource to your new employer by exceeding performance expectations.

Be diplomatic. Tread lightly when offering opinions for improving existing policies and procedures. As a new employee you risk alienating veteran workers for whom existing operations may be working just fine.

Reflect managements style. Observe how company managers interact with other employees, and adapt your style of communications accordingly. For instance, does your supervisor prefer group sessions, face-to-face discussions or formally scheduled meetings? Does your new company have a top-down management style or is it more team oriented?

Follow the leaders. Emulate the business and interpersonal styles of people with outstanding track records at the company. These individuals are likely to possess qualities your new employer values highly.

Chronicle your achievements. As you build a successful work history, document your activities. This information will help in preparing for performance and salary reviews or if you find yourself in the job market again.

Source: Max Messmer, chairman, Accountemps, Menlo Park, California.


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