Author Topic: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.  (Read 5897 times)

wealthviahealth

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Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« on: August 01, 2015, 12:14:29 PM »
I start my new job next week and will officially be " the new guy" for the first time in 5 years.
Any tips or suggestions on how to best navigate the first week or two, or even just the first day?
Additional info: this will also be my first time working in an environment where you are in competition with your peers, so my approach will likely be altered somewhat from how I would normally navigate this.

LaineyAZ

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2015, 12:19:35 PM »
I'd say lay low for the first month or so til you get the lay of the land, so to speak.  Especially if other co-workers have been there many years, they could taint your opinions of certain other workers that may turn out not to be true so joining in on the gossip is ultimately self-destructive.

I'd also take all of the orientation/training course stuff they provide so you can get up to speed on the basics fairly quickly.  Finally I'd say if you're invited to join others at lunch or happy hour then I would definitely do so - it helps others to get to know you and vice versa on a more informal basis.  Doesn't mean you have to do it all the time, but early impressions are lasting ones.

Psychstache

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2015, 03:15:43 PM »
Find the biggest, baddest dude in the place and fight him immediately, thus proving to everyone you ain't no punk biatch....

wait, that's prison.


I can't speak to the competition aspect, but otherwise some general advice:

Don't be a jerk for no good reason.

Remember, you were hired for a reason. There were likely other candidates and they chose you, so you have value.

Introduce yourself to as many people as possible and get to know as much about the business as you can. You may find that you are more interested in a different department/division and it can be good to have connections all around.

When people show you what kind of person they are, believe them. Be on the lookout for people who are looking to advance or promote themselves at all costs.

Listen at least twice as much as you talk. You are new and so it is best to get as much information as possible before you start trying to make waves (get the lay of the land as LaineyAZ indicated).

Good luck in the new gig.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 03:23:52 PM by Psychstache »

wordnerd

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2015, 03:20:13 PM »
Be pleasant. Ask questions when you don't know, but don't be too clingy. Be hard-working an competent. If they invite you to lunch, go (even if you packed a Mustachian sandwich).

This is a long-term game, and people aren't expecting you to wow them on the first day. Hell, they probably won't even really remember you're there for the first few weeks. So, just take it slow. As time goes on, you'll get more immersed in the office, and relationships will develop naturally.

coffeehound

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2015, 04:11:24 PM »
Listen more than you talk.

Write down changes you'd suggest, then look at the list after you've been there for three months/six months and see how they look then.

Avoid uttering any sentence that contains the words, "at my last job, we did it_________ way," or anything remotely similar.

Make sure to get some extra rest, so you are able to absorb all the new stuff you need to learn.

forummm

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2015, 04:39:29 PM »
Find people to learn from. Be pleasant. And give yourself the freedom to not know everything. It takes awhile (usually minimum 6 months) to figure out any new job.

Capsu78

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2015, 05:50:51 PM »
Listen more than you talk.

Write down changes you'd suggest, then look at the list after you've been there for three months/six months and see how they look then.

Avoid uttering any sentence that contains the words, "at my last job, we did it_________ way," or anything remotely similar.

Make sure to get some extra rest, so you are able to absorb all the new stuff you need to learn.

I would add:  "Be interested, not interesting..."  They can get to know you later.  If you have a multigenerational workplace, look for opportunities (and possibly future advocates) to be relevant to each of the different generations.  Don't look down on the guy/ gal from the mail center or IT support, even if they are 3rd party outsourced... They can make your life miserable if you fall on their wrong side.

wealthviahealth

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2015, 08:52:56 PM »
I really appreciate these tips. Thanks guys!
I will definitely be listening more than I am speaking, which can be challenging when you are nervous but is so important. I also agree that they will all have the chance to get to know me over the next week or two so no need to try and establish my humor or anything like that too early on.


katstache92

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 10:27:10 AM »
Try to learn names as soon as you can.  Maybe you don't have this issue, but when someone tells me their name it feels like it goes in one ear and out the other.

I also keep a little cheat sheet with info that people tell me (ie. where they're from, how long they've been here, former roles, former companies, etc.) because that also doesn't last long in my brain when I'm trying to remember everything about a new job.  The same goes for work material - take notes so you can reference it later.  Also, take a notebook with you to all of your meetings, just in case.

Don't hesitate to ask questions.  Sometimes I feel like I should know something, or someone assumes I know something, and I have no idea and I don't speak up and then suddenly it's 3 weeks later and I still don't know what that acronym means.

Like coffeehound said, get enough sleep - it really does make everything easier when you aren't tired.

catccc

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 10:40:11 AM »
Try to learn names as soon as you can.  Maybe you don't have this issue, but when someone tells me their name it feels like it goes in one ear and out the other.

I also keep a little cheat sheet with info that people tell me (ie. where they're from, how long they've been here, former roles, former companies, etc.) because that also doesn't last long in my brain when I'm trying to remember everything about a new job.  The same goes for work material - take notes so you can reference it later.  Also, take a notebook with you to all of your meetings, just in case.

Don't hesitate to ask questions.  Sometimes I feel like I should know something, or someone assumes I know something, and I have no idea and I don't speak up and then suddenly it's 3 weeks later and I still don't know what that acronym means.

Like coffeehound said, get enough sleep - it really does make everything easier when you aren't tired.

All very good advice.  Yes, take advantage of being the new guy, it is a free pass to ask "dumb" questions.  And getting to know your coworkers is great advice.  I always try to use people's names when I say hi- every time.  I noticed a boss did this years ago and I felt extra appreciated.  Knowing this was a goal of mine made me try extra hard to remember names, which I'm not naturally great at.

lil_miss_frugal

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 11:19:24 AM »
Try to learn as much about the work environment as you can in the first week. If anyone asks you to join them for lunch or anything social GO! Observe and listen. You want to learn about the job but you also want to learn about your coworkers, i.e. how do they view their work?, do they talk negatively about others? etc. (Sometimes not getting along with a coworker can cost you your job)

Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Hall11235

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2015, 12:17:05 PM »
Find the biggest, baddest dude in the place and fight him immediately, thus proving to everyone you ain't no punk biatch....

wait, that's prison.


I can't speak to the competition aspect, but otherwise some general advice:

Don't be a jerk for no good reason.

Remember, you were hired for a reason. There were likely other candidates and they chose you, so you have value.

Introduce yourself to as many people as possible and get to know as much about the business as you can. You may find that you are more interested in a different department/division and it can be good to have connections all around.

When people show you what kind of person they are, believe them. Be on the lookout for people who are looking to advance or promote themselves at all costs.

Listen at least twice as much as you talk. You are new and so it is best to get as much information as possible before you start trying to make waves (get the lay of the land as LaineyAZ indicated).

Good luck in the new gig.

I am still the "new guy" at my work and listening more than you talk is insanely important. It can almost feel weird at times (my inclinaton is to respond immediately) but you absolutely don't have to put your two cents in. At least at first.

Try to know as much about the business as possible before your first day.
 
Remembering names is huge. It's worth taking an hour on your first day and memorizing the names of everyone you interact with. It makes you incredibly likeable.

MsSindy

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Re: Advice for being " the new guy" at work.
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2015, 01:34:08 PM »
+1 to all the advice above.  And remember to take good notes when someone is showing/teaching you something.  You may totally "get it" at the time, but forget a week later some of the details....and nobody wants to keep explaining things to "the new guy".  The best impression you can have is to pick up on things quickly, that will go a long way to establish your reputation as "a smart dude". 
Also, if you ask, "why would you do it that way?"  try and keep the "Why TF?" tone out of your voice, there will be plenty of opportunities to make process improvements later.  Good luck and enjoy!