In a nutshell, when you are starting a new job then you should be on your best behavior and start finding out information about and interacting with the humans which you will be working with in a friendly, not boorish or rude way. You should also start learning the skills which you will need on the job if you don’t have all of them already.
Most important of all, don’t start giving advice or making suggestions on how to improve the job until you have acquired a rather complete knowledge about the humans working with you and/or the rules of the job and how successfully in your estimation the rules are being followed.
Michael Dooley gives a useful list of what to do and not do on the first day on the job and many of the suggestions apply to working on the job later on also.
- Show up at least 15 minutes early for your shift.
- Avoid judging individuals based on their first impression.
- Don’t share negative first impressions with other individuals.
- Build relationships with everyone, not a friendship with someone.
- Find out what is important to the company- immediately.
- Avoid openly comparing your old job with your new job.
- You don’t need to prove you “already knew that.”
- Try to avoid being perfect at a task before you dive in.
- Show initiative by offering to learn doing a task, rather than only observing it.
- Don’t probe employees for their opinions on your new leader
- Don’t ask individuals what you can get away with at work.
- Put your cell phone away at all costs, even if all of the other employees are using them (personal usage).
- Dress your best, look presentable- no wrinkles etc.
- Ask others what drives them, and what their hobbies are to show your human side.
- Follow up with other’s interests by sharing your own when they are similar.
- Be the last employee to leave for the day.
- Get plenty of sleep and be well-rested, don’t complain about being tired and bored.
- Show general interest in other’s assignments and responsibilities.
- Recap with your leader at the end of the day; thank them for providing you an excellent job.
- Avoid making suggestions at all costs! Wait until you understand the business before you try to fix it.
- When it is time for breaks, try to connect with everyone, force yourself to engage with others.
- Be extremely professional, don’t curse or say inappropriate comments-ever.
- Find top performing individuals- this is essential for your initial and ongoing development.
- Don’t complain about processes and policies until you are qualified to challenge them.
- Show nonstop appreciation for those willing to teach you along the way.
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