5 essential steps to stand out in a new job

by Dec 6, 2021

Starting a new job is exciting. It is a new opportunity that offers its own benefits. However, it can also be nerve-wracking. You are trying to fit into a new place and learn all you need to know.

The impression that you make during this initial probationary period could affect your advancement potential and the trajectory of your entire career. With so much at stake, here are some tips for improving your chances for success from the beginning of your new job.


Tie up loose ends

You may have strings that are still tying you to your former position. The first few months are an opportunity to make a clean break by consolidating your super or, for international audiences, taking care of a forgotten 401(k). Not only can this help to solidify your new position but can also make things easier for you at your eventual retirement.


Learn how to fit in

Of course, there are rules at your new workplace, such as dress codes and standard operating procedures. You’ll need to learn these right away. However, there is probably another set of unwritten rules and policies.

While not formalised, these are probably strictly observed by your new co-workers. You’ll need to learn and observe these during the first few weeks of your new job. This is a window of opportunity in which people understand that you are new and are willing to help you.

Some of these unwritten rules may seem strange or pointless to you. Go along with them for now. As a relative newcomer, it may make you seem arrogant or ungrateful to criticise your new employer right off the bat.

As time goes by and you gain more clout, you can ask questions about established procedures. If you feel you have a better idea than the status quo, it is more likely to be listened to once you have paid your dues and gained your co-workers’ trust.


Do the jobs no one else wants to do

One way to build the goodwill of your co-workers and gain the attention of your employers is to take on the jobs that no one else wants to do. However, be careful that you do not go too far with this. You were hired for a specific reason, and if these extra chores interfere with your regular duties, that is unlikely to impress anyone. Know your limits and learn when to say no.


Be sociable

You may prefer to eat lunch on your own, but if you refuse invitations from your co-workers, it may seem standoffish or unfriendly, even if you do not mean it that way. Socialszing is a good opportunity for you to learn more about your co-workers and your workplace, so accept their invitations whenever possible. This includes going out for happy hours or other events.

Again, know your limitations and don’t overextend yourself, but make a point of socialising with co=workers after hours at least a couple of times during the first few weeks of your employment.


Ask lots of questions

Most jobs include some sort of onboarding or orientation. However, even the most comprehensive of these programs cannot cover everything. Your employer and supervisors would much rather you ask questions during the first few weeks of your employment than to make mistakes based on erroneous assumptions.

Ask questions about any job duties or instructions you don’t understand. As you start to get to work, make a list of questions and ask for a meeting with your supervisor to discuss them. Try to make most of the questions about the job rather than about you.

While it is good to ask questions, it is also courteous to show consideration for other people’s time. Before you ask questions regarding pay increases or time off, look to see if you can find the answers yourself by looking in the employee handbook. Pressing matters can be taken up with human resources. Save the time talking to your supervisor for questions about the job.


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Mikkie Mills

Mikkie Mills

Freelance Writer

Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and workplace tips. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.