Featured Carousel Features February 2019

5 Tips on Breaking into a New Job


Written By: Ana Jelacic

Whatever your age, starting a new job is like opening doors to a whole new world. Understanding this new world is both exciting and scary, but new transitions do not have to be daunting.

Here are five tools that can help you break into a new job and transition smoothly.

  1. The goal to being successful on week one and all the following weeks is balance.

Many of us get caught up in trying to be productive from day one. We create too much pressure on ourselves and don’t fully get to enjoy the thrill of learning the unknown and growing with it.

Constantly evolving productivity comes from understanding both your workplace and your own goals. That means accepting that newbie title and giving yourself time to learn and absorb. Asking questions and taking it slow are effective steps that pave the way to balanced learning.

2. First impressions count, but so does networking afterwards.

First impressions help as you meet coworkers. However, how you continue maintaining those first relationships is what builds your network matrix.

As a newbie you, might want to network all the time, try to meet as many people as possible, sometimes even forcing your social skills. The key to mastering your networking skills is quality over quantity.

Make it a goal to meet people who will make a difference in your career and seek mentors you can learn from. Once you create that goal, you can create your target network and channel your resources into building those relationships for your future growth.

3. Reflect on your goals and keep an achievement portfolio.

Determining how to improve and where to start absorbing knowledge comes from your professional development plan.

Ask yourself what you are looking for from relationships you want to develop as well as what career goals you want to achieve. Utilize your company resources and make a game plan on what courses, certifications or projects you need to get involved with in order to advance.

This will also help you keep track of how you spend your workday and categorize the least- and most-productive tasks. An achievement portfolio enables you to look back, quantify your success, tweak your habits and catalyze your skillset potential. Reflection allows you to constantly improve, enables you to play to your strengths and paves the way to promotions and vertical mobility.

4. Ask questions and get feedback.

Once you write down your career goals, you will be able to better focus on asking the right questions. In order to ask the right questions, you need to learn how to actively listen and absorb the information around you. This will help you overcome the fear of asking for help, prioritize your tasks, and will reduce the time-wasters in your day.

Continuously getting feedback will help you course-correct your work as well as manage your skillset to be of best use for your team. It helps to set up regular one-on-one meetings with your manager in order to understand the big picture and what is expected of you. This shows your manager you are open and willing to improve. It also eliminates surprises when it comes to performance reviews and helps align yourself closer with the company values and goals.

5. Understand the culture and bring value.

Every company has a unique work atmosphere and culture. You do not need to change your personality to fit in. Instead, you need to learn about what your company values and how it makes money.

One of the ways to do that is to understand the organizational structure of your company as well as what your team does. Talk to other teams and understand how your team interacts with them. Once you get a holistic view of the processes and behind-the-scenes work, you can start identifying the obstacles and exploring new ways of solving them.

The people are the culture, so the best way to understand it is to step outside of your work zone and engage in volunteering opportunities or different cultural/diversity groups. In other words, constantly seeking a broader knowledge of your company as a whole makes you fit in, but also stand out.

You got the job. Now it is time to deliver and prove why you were the right person to be hired. Breaking into a new job takes time and effort. You need to be patient and open-minded to dive deep and grow every day. Learn to accept the unknown and enjoy the changes along the way. 

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