How to Shine in Your New Job

I’ve write a lot about hiring and how to do a skillful job search. But what happens once you land your new position? What kind of skills help you thrive in your role?

This was the question posted to me recently by Kelley Hungerford who, as an intern from Linfield College, wrote the Mac’s List newsletter in 2009.

“How do you succeed (or fail) after being hired?” wondered Kelley. In other words, “Are there some universal ways to really make it or blow it?”

Here are seven steps the team at Mac’s List take when starting a new job:

Be a savvy newbie

Use your status as a newcomer to offer an outsider’s perspective and raise new questions.

Learn from others

Set up get-acquainted meetings, coffees, or lunches with new coworkers and clients. They will teach you a lot and appreciate your curiosity.

Pay attention

You have much to offer. So do your new colleagues and customers. Listen to what they say about their problems and their ideas for fixing them.

Talk to predecessors

Yes, you want to put your own mark on the position, but tap the wisdom and experience of others who have already done the job.

Know the office history

Look ahead, not back, but understand where your organization has been. Talk to supervisors and colleagues about previous challenges faced by your new company and your predecessors.

Learn the business

Working in a central office or support function like communications or human resources? Get out to the field and talk to the people who provide the product you produce and the people you serve.

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Look for early victories

Try to identify an urgent need to solve in the first six months. Getting a big accomplishment under your belt quickly gives your credibility and authority.