Technology is moving forward at the speed of light. We communicate and move so very quickly now. We start and end stages in our lives, eat, and cook at a startling velocity. In the working world, things follow much the same rhythm.
That’s why there are increasing numbers of people every day hopping from one job to the next. They come and leave again just as quickly. If there is one thing that new entrepreneurs know, it’s that though workers are indispensable, they’re also replaceable. So today we are going to look at three strategies to be successful in your new job.
Joining a new workplace is always a complicated process. Many workplaces have a set of explicit rules you have to follow. Not only that, but every organization has a set of unspoken rules that everyone has to abide by.
If you don’t follow the unspoken rules, you probably won’t get fired. But if you follow them, it’s a sign that you are adapting well to your new job. To transition into a new workplace, we recommend you do your best to learn these unspoken rules. On that note, here is our first recommendation…
Observe what goes on around you
The first recommendation on how to be successful at your new job is to be observant. Watch carefully how people with similar jobs act. If they have “survived” in this workplace, it’s not a bad idea to imitate them. It’s also important to observe and copy the communication style of the business. Do this with people who are above you as well as those in lower positions.
From observation comes identification. You can use what you observe to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your new position. You can also identify the roles that everyone in the office plays (if you happen to work in an office.) There’s the optimist, the helpful one, the grump, the hard worker, the gopher, the big head, the schemer…
That will lead you to the last of your important identifications: the needs of the organization. Think about it. If you can make a significant human contribution to the business in addition to doing your job, your value as an employee will probably rise.
Find out what your coworkers do
The second recommendation to be successful in your new job has to do with relationships and sensitivity. The people above you in the organization hierarchy are important, of course. However, the people below you are even more important. So often, these are the people who can make your work look amazing, or completely ruin it. You depend on them. In fact, the higher up you are, the stronger your dependence.
Learn what they do and how they do it. Don’t assume; ask. If you have the chance, you can even put yourself in their place. There’s no better way to know if what they are proposing is acceptable or exaggerated.
It’s also very important not to act paternalistic and start making decisions for people “for their own good.” Especially with decisions that affect their position, don’t forget that they know better than anyone. Listen and count on them to make changes. That way they will feel more committed, and you will strengthen the lines of communication.
You should also avoid falling into another common trap. Don’t miss the mark because you aren’t taking into account certain variables or because you poorly calculated the subjective value of something or someone. Getting rid of a five-minute break might not be a big deal to you, but it could be very important to an employee who uses that time to relax between two difficult tasks.
Learn how to motivate those around you
The third recommendation is related to motivation. Remember that an ineffective motivation policy can be worse than none. One of the most common ways to motivate employees is recognition. This is what we all need, for the most part. And this type of motivation isn’t bad, at first. If you do it well, it highlights what an employee does well. As bosses, it gives us the space to ask for extra effort in areas that improvement.
For motivation to be effective, the timing has to be right. Timing is also important so that it doesn’t have the opposite effect. In other words, motivation is a process, not something that you can achieve overnight. If you try to sow and reap at the same time, you will fail.
Don’t just give a pat on the back when you need something from someone. Think about when you notice this strategy in other people. You end up tuning out the words they are saying, and just thinking “well, what do they want now?”
There’s another important aspect in making your motivational efforts work. They must be specific to the context, not general. Forget phrases like “I like your work,” “you’re the best,” and the like.
These cookie cutter phrases are easy but unproductive in the long-term. They are ready-made, by the book, and empty. They don’t actually show that you value and honor someone’s work. “I’m the best, okay… But what do you like about my work? Why do you think I do it well?”
Unfortunately, this way of operating is much more common than it should be. The stakes are low, and the results aren’t bad at first. The problem is that people quickly interpret this type of feedback as manipulative, fake, and impersonal. After all, who likes to be manipulated? Valuing someone’s work in this way is like telling them that their job is so unimportant that you haven’t taken the time to figure out what it is.
From a psychological standpoint, these are some of the most important recommendations for being successful in your new job. You should understand that performance is a product of many factors. The human factor is one of the most important. Therefore, cultivating good relationships and honest communication is crucial to success.