Whether you are approaching the first day of a new job or want to start making a stronger impression and want to check how you are doing, these 28 tips will help. How many do you get, let me know by commenting below.
It’s easy to slip in some areas, or forget how good you are so why not look at this list and praise yourself Maybe you have slipped on some of these areas, so let your first day in a new job be the day you start some good working practices so you demonstrate what an effective, proactive worker is like.
- Punctuality is vital! Allow yourself time to go to the loo, coffee/tea time and greeting co-workers, before the actual start of your day. Get in on time and don’t be a clock- watcher. Always be early to appointments and meetings. It shows respect.
- Don’t take advantage. We all have dental appointments, but try not to schedule one for the first few weeks unless absolutely necessary.
- Get motivated each day. Before you start work each day, get yourself motivated. Stop asking questions like “why do I have to go to work?” and reframe by asking “what can I contribute today?”
- At the end of each working day, review what you have done. Give yourself a pat on the back for what you have accomplished, and think about what you have learnt from things that didn’t go so well.
- Plan what you are going to do tomorrow, the night before. Either do this before you leave work or in the evening but do take the time to plan what you will do tomorrow. What is important and urgent? If you haven’t done it the night before, do it first thing and follow the plan. Don’t get sucked into spending e.g. two hours on emails.
- Be organised. Start using your diary or pocket organiser consistently. It will assist you with organising daily responsibilities and activities.
- Create good weekday habits. Can you really be effective at work if you have been up late or drinking hard? Save the late night socialising for the weekend so you are bright and effective in the morning.
- Keep your promises. If you say you will complete the report that day, make sure you do, and if you run into difficulties let people know right away.
- Under promise and over deliver. Rather than miss a deadline, better to say something will take a bit longer and then get it ready sooner. Your customer or colleagues will be delighted.
- Be prepared to reprioritise. Learn to prioritise your work so that you can be prepared to tackle important and urgent matters when they come up.
- Keep a weekly assessment report where you can rate yourself on task and achievements. How good are your listening and communication skills? Do you meet your deadlines? Have you shown some initiative? Keep track of what you achieve, especially when it goes beyond your normal job. You can make sure to discuss them at annual appraisal time.
- If you are not sure, ask. It is far better to get clarification and additional information before you start, rather than go off on the wrong track.
- Don’t steal. Many people get into the habit of taking pens, and paper, but this is white- collar criminality and stealing. Worse perhaps is stealing time, having long distance phone calls when you should be working and reading magazines just because you know your boss is in a meeting.
- Stay grounded. Companies exist to serve customers. Find out all you can about your new company’s customer base. What attracts them to your company? Why do they stay? Why do they leave? Base all your decisions on what the customer wants. Be the voice of the customer.
- In meetings, concentrate. You may have to take action based on what was discussed.
- Watch your language. Never tell racist, dirty, or sexist jokes, and ignore those who attempt to share them with you. Avoid profanity.
- Give positive feedback. Always take the opportunity to congratulate others who have done well and thank them for being helpful.
- Share the credit. When you are personally complimented for something that you know was a team effort, don’t forget to give credit to the team.
- Be a team member. Do something to help your co-workers succeed in their day.
- Avoid complaining. Every office environment has a person who takes on the role of office complainer. Don’t get involved in discussing their complaints. Look for solutions, not problems.
- Find a mentor. Begin to look around for a potential mentor. Keep your possibilities open! Mentors can come in the form of a different sex, race, and industry. Choose wisely and carefully!
- Don’t gossip. Show respect for your boss in everything you do. Do not join others in boss bashing. Walk away from office gossipers. Never discuss your salary with your colleagues.
- Time management. Don’t immediately respond to phone and email messages. Set aside periods when you look at your emails so you can focus on a task.
- Take a short break. Take 5 minute breaks to recharge.
- After work. Take time to reconnect with your family, or enjoy the garden etc., rather than to rush into household chores.
- Personal drawer. Keep a toothbrush and breath mints in your desk for bad breath occurrences. You may also want a spare pair of tights in case of a ladder.
- Mistakes will be made! Take responsibility for them immediately. Admit you were wrong or made a mistake, and move on. Just be sure not to make the same mistake again.
- Future Career Development. Get copies of competitors’ annual reports. They will keep you in tune of your industry and will help you better understand and appreciate your company’s competitive edge.
Brought to you by Denise Taylor, career coach and chartered psychologist with Amazing People. Denise is regularly featured as an expert in the press and is the author of 7 books including ‘How To Get A Job In A Recession’
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If you need a job, you will find my book – How To Get A Job In A Recession incredibly valuable and it comes with masses of downloadable free resources. I’ve a mini site with more details on the book here.