A job is a precious thing. And if you have a new one, you’ll want to work hard to hold onto it.
You can become an indispensable member of the team in several ways. Here’s how to show your boss that you are worthy of your new job.
Some parts of job success are simple to carry out. For starters, always show up on time, or even early. Second, dress appropriately for the job, so that you fit in rather than stand out. Those are easy things to do to get you off on the right foot.
When it comes to carrying out your job successfully, it really can be as simple as listening carefully, asking questions if you don’t understand something, and then carrying out the assignment to the best of your ability. This is called being engaged in your work.
If you’re new on the job, one big red flag for your new employer is how you handle constructive criticism about ways to improve. Remember that you are on a learning curve. Your employer doesn’t expect you to be perfect at first. Don’t get defensive if you get some negative feedback. Respond with a good attitude, and then adjust your work as directed. This will leave your boss with a good impression about your willingness to learn.
Work relationships can be tricky, so the best approach is to be friendly and courteous to everyone. If someone is being mean about other workers or even the boss, stay cordial, but don’t agree with or participate in making negative remarks. If somebody tries to make you do something that you’re not supposed to do, be polite but firm in saying no.
Once you have gotten your feet wet and proved your ability to handle your job, it’s OK to branch out and try to do a little more. Just make sure that you can properly handle your job priorities before taking on new tasks.
A few things are simple to avoid and can make a big difference in how you’re viewed in the workplace. Don’t make casual personal calls, check your Facebook page, or spend time surfing the Web or sending personal text messages while at work. Save these activities for your breaks or, even better, when you’re at home, and you’ll look like a serious worker.
Resist the urge to talk about your company on your Facebook wall. It’s not a private forum, and employees have been fired for posting work-related gossip there. If you work in a high-security area, be aware that posting even a casual Facebook photo of you and your friends waving from the factory floor may be grounds for dismissal. Also, don't forward joke emails if they contain language that is racist, sexist, or demeaning to any groups.
Just because you were hired doesn’t mean the job is permanent. If you get on people’s nerves by bragging, complaining, or clipping your nails in your cubicle, you may find yourself gone in the next round of layoffs. High-maintenance people are often the first to be let go.
Clarify your job title and responsibilities as soon as you start working. You and your boss must be on the same page. You don’t want to think that you’re doing a wonderful job, only to find out that your boss thinks you should be doing something else entirely.
Make an effort to get to know your co-workers so that you become part of the team. You don’t want to be thought of as an outsider. Also, stay active in any professional organizations and stay in touch with old friends and former co-workers outside of work. Besides staying close and connected, you may one day need their help in finding your next job.