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How to Set Yourself Up for Success at a New Job

June 2011 (SmartPros) Your early days at a new job can be exhilarating, but they can also be overwhelming. Trying to keep track of countless new people, policies and priorities is a mentally taxing proposition. Here are some tips to help you get off on the right foot.

Reach out. Quickly establish a reputation as an affable and outgoing team player. Make the rounds in your first week or two on the job, introducing yourself to new colleagues, even those you might only work with in a limited capacity. Also, get to know people in your orientation sessions. By developing camaraderie with other new employees, you’ll have built-in allies to commiserate with about any “new-kid-on-the-block” challenges you encounter.

Read up. Company handbooks aren’t typically regarded as gripping page-turners, but you can’t afford to ignore the content within. Not being aware of certain guidelines or making incorrect assumptions about IT security guidelines, the dress code, or personal web usage, for example, can lead to unnecessary blunders. Take some time to get up to speed on protocols and procedures.

Pay attention to cultural cues. Because the nuances of expected behavior won’t all be spelled out in black and white, take note of the tacit rules of the road, too. Are mobile devices brought into meetings? Do people take time out to get to know one another personally – through informal chats in the workspace and at lunch, for example – or is it a “strictly business” kind of culture? Does anyone actually dress down on Casual Friday? Remaining attuned to people’s work styles, behaviors, and communication preferences – and adjusting yours accordingly – will hasten and smooth your transition.

Don’t dare to compare. Quickly embrace your new employer’s philosophies. Making critical statements like, “Well, my former company did it this way …” won’t endear you to your new team. Be diplomatic and tactful when you’re asked to share your thoughts or initial impressions.

Finally, maintain a positive attitude. When you face one of those inevitable moments of frustration or self-doubt, remember that it takes time to acclimate to a new environment. Everyone experiences difficulties when beginning a new job so don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn from your early mistakes, but don’t dwell on them.

Accountemps is the world’s first and largest temporary staffing service specializing in the placement of accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The company has more than 360 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at

2011 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

Source: Accountemps

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