Your #1 Priority When Starting a New Job
Congratulations! You have landed a new job and I’m sure you’re eager to get started. Your mind is probably in a whirl thinking about what you will do in those first few days to learn everything you need to know. Your plan is to be a rock star in this new place of business.
You can be a great success if you keep in mind your highest priority activity.
Sure, you do need to learn how to do your job in this new setting as well as important things like the office supplies and water fountain locations. If you haven’t yet discovered, your relationships, especially with the boss, will be the major factor for both your job satisfaction and success.
There seem to be three groups of people in the workplace when it comes to relationship development:
- Automatically knows and works on developing relationships at work
- Doesn’t pay attention to it or thinks too much about it
- Goes out of the way to avoid relationships with the boss and co-workers; the “I want to separate my personal life from work” type of people
If you happen to be in the first group- good for you. I’m sure you’ll be doing well for a long time. If you are in either of the other two groups, you have work to do to attain the type of success you believe you are capable of.
Let me make lay out the reasons developing relationships at work is important and some attitude checks:
- People support other people they know, like and trust. If they don’t’ know you other than brief moments of business focused interactions, they won’t support you. It’s that simple. We are tribal creatures. If you don’t attempt to integrate into a group, there can be a range of reactions. At best, you get ignored. At the worst, they will try to make you go away. Support of your peers and boss is the single biggest success factor.
- All work is interdependent. It is virtually impossible to be completely autonomous if you work for someone. That means your work depends on others and vice versa. Think of it like the inner workings of a watch. All the cogs must mesh and when one cog doesn’t mesh the watch has to be fixed. The bad cog removed and replaced. That isn’t a rock star status.
- You are never a “neutral” to the boss. You are a big boost, a big problem or invisible. If you are invisible, you get ignored which means you won’t get the big assignments or promotions. If you are a problem, you either get fixed or removed. (Both painful) If you are a boost, you are valued, desirable and will be uppermost in the thoughts of the boss for assignments, promotions and pay increase. Isn’t that really worth it?
- Attitude check. It’s ok to separate your personal life from your business life but you don’t do it by virtue of avoiding relationships. You separate the two by things like limiting your personal life sharing. Not all of it has to be private and it isn’t if you think about it. Also, developing relationships is all about getting to know YOU not whether or not you and your mother get along.
Working Relationship Development Tips:
- Be friendly. Smile and let your co-worker know you are approachable.
- Have a sense of humor. We all love someone who doesn’t take everything so seriously all the time. It reduces stress and reinforces you are comfortable to be around.
- Be interested in your co-workers. Take an extra minute to chat when you walk by someone or see them. It doesn’t need to turn into a long, drawn out conversation. Ask questions about them as part of getting to know them and make that information the basis of future conversations.
- Be helpful. Think reciprocity. See where you can help others after you understand their jobs. When you are helpful to others, they will return it to you and goes a long way to develop relationships.
- Watch for social cues. Be sensitive to people who need more interaction prior to moving into business. There are personalities that almost can’t work with you if they aren’t able to satisfy their social bond as the first priority.
Your relationships at work will always be important but they become critical as you move up the ladder. It’s a skill you can learn now and apply consciously from now on. Good luck!
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Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential.