How To Be Liked When You’re The New Kid On the Job

Note: Recently, I received a search in my Lijit stats stating, “I newly started at an ad agency how to improve and interact with the people give me some ideas.” No really, that’s a word-for-word search on my blog. This is how your search stats uncover reader intent and are so important for any blogger. With that being said, here are some ideas (whoever you are, who is looking to improve and interact when you’re new on the job).

You know the feeling – you’ve stressed about your first-day-on-the-job outfit for a week, your friends and family have had enough of your pre-job anxiety texts, your palms are sweaty and when you finally walk through the door on the first day of your new job, your heart is beating out of your chest.

Making a first impression is key. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs held by individuals with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher is 11.1 – creating likeability on the job, isn’t a one time deal.

One of our outings at the racetrack

Here’s how I’ve learned to be liked and stay on point, when I’ve been the new kid on the job:

Immediate Initiative: Depending on the size of your company, take time to introduce yourself to each co-worker in person or at least those you will be working with directly. This isn’t the time to be shy.

Pay attention to your company’s culture – you could bring in fresh baked cookies for your team (one of our recent hires actually did this on his job interview) or beer for Friday’s work happy hour.

Confident initiative goes a long way. A poll compiled by LinkedIn asking, “what helps you climb the corporate ladder faster?” showed 60% was confidence and 28% was being “well-liked.”

-Reach out: Ask your team to lunch on your own accord. Focus on getting to know each of them to establish respect and learn how they operate.  I encourage connections to establish rapport and respect.

At Lijit, we hired a girl to join our team and I was training her. Within the first week, she took me out to lunch. She asked me questions about the company, her position, and how she could grow with the company. Our conversation was candid and the one-on-one interaction was beneficial. I respected her immediately for taking the initiative and showing she cared. She’s now a close friend and is still at the company.

Show up earlier than everyone else: Put in your time, it will be noticed.

-Keep Track of Your Goals: Remember why you started this position and what you’re capable of. Depending on your management’s involvement be sure you understand what is expected of you, ask questions, stay focused and track all your goals and progress. I keep documents and spreadsheets, organized by each quarter and year.

Ask for weekly one-on-one’s with your direct manager and set up a six month review to check in with your manager to portray the work you’ve completed and how you have contributed.

Know What Your Boss Expects and Needs: Understanding the way your boss thinks and operates is important. Do they like reports? Are they more focused at a high-level or are they detail oriented? How do they obtain information? Finding out these quirks and business needs, will help both of you progress.

I have even learned to sway the way I communicate with my boss because at times (when I’m multitasking on multiple projects) I appear vague and on my own wavelength, so I preface whatever I’m about to tell him with context and background even if it may seem blatantly obvious. It’s an inside joke we have, but it helps us both.

Ask Questions, Be Clear: There’s nothing worse than taking on a project, but not understanding what is needed or how to accomplish it.

Entrepreneur and CEO, Janine Popick, encourages the notion that “the truth doesn’t hurt.” With her employees she says, “if we don’t know the answer to a question, I encourage people to say, ‘I don’t know, but let me found out and get back to you with an answer.’ There is no value in dancing around something that isn’t true just to look good, because in the long run, if you’re wrong, you just look bad.”

It’s Up To You…

Some of these steps helped me propel forward as a new kid on the job but it doesn’t come without a little work and care because “the people who are likeable actually care about other people and care about the connections they make,” says Executive coach, Susan Hodgkinson.

As Robert Cialdini, author of “Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion” and “Influence: Science and Practice,” says, “Likeability is a matter of intention and behavior rather than of personality and chance. To become more likeable, find similarities and then raise them to the surface. If you can find something that you truly like and respect about a person, then that person will naturally like and respect you.”

What are some ways you have successfully jumped into a new work atmosphere? What challenges do you face?

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