New hires often feel pressure to impress right away, but too much “I oriented” activity can actually hamper results. Instead of allowing the destructive duo of ego and self-doubt free reign, take these three actions in quick succession to make your first few days as productive as possible:
- Ask Smart Questions: You can only learn so much about an organization and its people during the interview process. Once you’ve landed the job, take time to find out about your manager, colleagues, and company culture as well as recent wins and pain points for the department.
- Really Listen: No, not for your chance to talk or offer solutions to issues raised, but to actually learn the non-spin version of what is happening and what’s important at the organization.
- Say “thank you” and help others if you can. You might not be able to offer much before you are up to speed on organizational processes, but success often comes from your informal network so nurture it from day one.
Every organizations has it’s own culture and informal practices for getting things done so there is no single formula for mastering office politics. A good foundation however, is knowing whose YES means Yes and whose NO means No. Such lessons are vital to one’s career and can only be learned effectively when you get in tune with the other players. You can’t listen and talk at the same time so, zip it in the beginning and soon you’ll hear the sound of success.
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