Stepping into a New Job


Your Challenge: How do you seize the opportunity to make a great impression when you take over new responsibilities? Especially when the people, the job, and the environment are new to you? How do you ramp up fast and make a mark without stepping on landmines?


Proven Strategy: Understand exactly what the window of opportunity is, and how to take advantage of it rapidly, yet prudently. First impressions in a new job set the course of your reputation. Use our roadmap to build a positive reputation and visible contribution from the first day.

Here’s a sample of just one of the strategies you get:

Adopt the language and customs quickly.
Every culture has its own language and customs, including every subculture, no matter how small, in an organization. Don’t assume that because you’re a star in your field or experienced in a particular profession that you understand how this new culture works, even if you already know other employees personally. Treat the new organization as if you were an anthropologist studying a foreign culture, observing carefully and without judgment. What is the style of dress for different areas and levels? How do people use e-mail, meetings, and voice communication? What are the greeting and other social rituals? Daily work and break rhythms? Insider jargon and stories? Interaction patterns? Your goal is to achieve “insider” status as quickly as possible—and to avoid anything that might give offense. Strive to fit in as a “member,” adopting their ways as a means of showing respect and being effective. If you can’t go along with certain customs, try to mask your nonconformity for a time so that it will not be harshly judged as a rejection.

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