Be a Class Act on the Job - Settling Into a New Position

As you settle into your new job, you will find that your workplace has it own particular dynamic. You may find that you click with your colleagues right away and that your boss is as approachable as your favourite uncle. Or, you might feel as if you have nothing in common with your co-workers and that your boss is rude and impatient. If it is not all smooth sailing in your new work environment, it may be easy to become discouraged. However, Pierre Perreault, employment consultant at the Employment Center at College Boreal in Sudbury, Ontario, assures that you can transcend most sticky situations. With the right attitude and practices, he says, you can avoid undue distress and the office politics of any position.

Here are a few simple tips:

  1. Always arrive on time, and don’t be the first out the door at the end of the day.
  2. Have a positive attitude; smile a lot.
  3. Say a smiling Hello to everyone you meet.
  4. Try to remember the name of everyone you are introduced to. Repeat it two or three times in your initial conversation, and, smilingly, look in the person¡¯s eyes while doing so.
  5. Dress conservatively. One of the best ways to make the right impression is through clean, classy, appropriate clothing.
  6. Study the company culture and its particular management style. This may help you understand decisions you might otherwise dismiss as questionable.
  7. Master your responsibilities as quickly as possible. You will best be able to do so by focusing squarely on the task at hand. So, while it is important to establish friendly relationships with your colleagues, ensure you devote the majority of your time and attention to the actual work to be done.
  8. Seek out unofficial mentors who can show you the ropes. Study and emulate those with outstanding track records; most will feel flattered and be willing to help.
  9. Be a team player, and try not to be selfish.
  10. Practise diplomacy. Tread lightly when offering ideas for improving something, and avoid bossy or preachy opinions.
  11. Write down your projects and achievements from day one on the job. In doing so, you¡¯ll have a solid work record to discuss with your employers at the end of your probation, when they are deciding whether or not to keep you on.
  12. Where possible, plan your day and duties in advance. You, and your supervisor, will be impressed at how a few minutes of planning ahead will allow you to make efficient use of your time.
  13. Arrive at meetings on time. Furthermore, don’t doodle or daydream in them.
  14. Don’t lie. Your mother was right; honesty is the best policy. In the same vein, avoid making excuses.
  15. Be a class act. Never tell dirty, racist or sexist jokes. Don’t use profanity, even when others do. If a conversation turns into gossip, politely excuse yourself and leave immediately.
  16. Don’t take anything personally. Remember if someone is unkind to you, it¡¯s often because he or she is facing some stress that may have nothing to do with you.

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