10 things you should and shouldn’t do now you’ve got that job

Aug 31, 2018 | Arrival Network, Careers Advice, Talent

Entering the working world or a new role can sometimes be stressful and hard. It is a time of adjustment and it can be challenging knowing what to do or how to communicate. 
You want to fit in and make the best impression you possibly can, but what is the best way to do this? We look at some of the practical do’s and don’ts off office life with some handy tips.

Read more: Our services for young professionals

What you should do

1. Be social and interact with your colleagues 

When starting a new role or adjusting to the working world it is always important to be social. As you will be spending so much time with your colleagues it is important to build rapport with them and a good working relationship. Take up the opportunities to have a coffee or lunch with your colleagues to get to know them better.

There are perks as a result of being social at work, says Forbes, including increased happiness, less stress, increased engagement and loyalty, and a healthier life. All of which ensure you’ll feel more settled and happier in your workplace.

Arrival Network Tip: If you’re a bit of an introvert, there are ways that you can be social without feeling too out of your comfort zone. Get involved in team chats, remember what your colleagues have said. 

 2. Ask for help when you need it

No matter where you are in your career there will be some areas that you are not the most proficient in or struggle with. Especially in the beginning stages of a role there can be a temptation to come across perfect but asking for help in certain areas shows self-awareness and a desire to become better.

A tip from a mentor is, if I’ve come across a problem, present a solution to your manager when you ask for help. It might not be the right one, but it shows willingness to want to fix it and being a solution-orientated person.

Arrival Network Tip: When you begin your relationship with your line manager, ask them how they would like you to come to you with questions. This shows that you are aware of how other people work and how to get the most out of people. Some managers will prefer you to bring them all together for a 1:1, others will prefer you ask questions immediately.

Monster gives some useful tips on how to ask for help at work without being annoying.

3. Ask your colleagues for their opinions  

Many times your role will be working with with other people in different departments, so when working in a new role it is always helpful to ask for the opinions of your colleagues on some of your work. This helps gain a greater understand of what works in your organisation, generate new ideas and get things done more efficiently.  

Being seen as a team player and enthusiastic to learn can only look good on you. When teamwork is coupled with the other transferable skills and professional values, it results in greater prospects. 

Arrival Network Tip:  Our workshops and programmes help you understand how to build better relationships and work with others. Having empathy, understanding others workloads and being able to give your time and support as well as take is vital to showing you’re a team player who wants to learn.  

4. Spot high performers and see what works well in your company

Role models are a sure-fire way to drive yourself towards success. It is great to have a yardstick for what success looks like in your role and someone that is already doing well in your position. Have a look out for people within your department that seem to be doing well within their role and take note of what makes them great. Remember success leaves clues.

Arrival Network Tip: Everyone is on LinkedIn and it’s a great way to connect with your colleagues and role models. Not only will you then have a permanent connection with them, but you can see how they interact with others, what they put on their profile and how they sell themselves. Don’t forget to connect with our dedicated Arrival Network profile too!

5. Answer emails professionally 

Or as one wise owl once said, “always write an email as if it’s going to be forwarded to the MD.” After you’ve built strong relationships with your colleagues it can be tempting to become too personal in your communication. Whenever sending emails it is important to remain professional and use the correct etiquette. WorkEtiquette states it’s important to understand the rules of your office email etiquette to succeed. Remember, emails are there to help track your progress and keeping it professional is important. The BBC has a simple cheatsheet on the difference between work and social email content.

Arrival Network Tip: If you haven’t got an automatic company signature set up when you join, ask your line manager. This will show you care about the company brand and being professional. Also, think about how you structure your emails.

What you shouldn’t do

6. Make inappropriate jokes 

You don’t want to be in the sticky situation of saying something awkward and inappropriate no matter how close you are with your colleagues. Avoid jokes that can easily offend or be controversial. Remember that different cultures find different things inappropriate, so really think about what you’re going to say before you say it.

Arrival Network Tip: Never swear whilst you’re at work, even if others are doing it too.

7. Take critique personally  

Critique is an essential part of personal and career growth. When having meetings with your managers there will often be times where they give you feedback on areas that you can improve on and things you can do better, do not take it personally. Our programmes are designed to help you with understanding the benefits of difficult feedback. We help you to understand that developing and understanding both your strengths and weaknesses can help you

Usnews cites getting feedback is part of your role and is meant to help you succeed. Ensure you treat them as opportunities and not failures.

Arrival Network Tip: Ask for feedback. After you’ve completed a piece of work, as your manager or team for how you think they could improve it. Ask questions like “Is there a different way I could do this?” or “Where do you see my development going?” This shows you’re open and ready to develop.

8. Show up late

Punctuality is very important within the workforce and shows good character. Always try to be early if possible. Being late to work, meetings or functions may indicate a disinterest in what you are doing and leave a bad impression.

Of course, there will always be unavoidable circumstances – such as transport delays or an overrun meeting – so, if you can, let your manager or colleagues know.  

Arrival Network Tip: Arrive 10-15 minutes early to an interview – no more no less. Arriving late, particularly without a sincere apology and contacting the interviewer, is a big cross on your application. On the other side, arriving early puts a lot of pressure on the recruiter – they won’t want to be thinking about you waiting to come in.

9. Become overly personal 

Avoid bringing your personal issues to work. Although it’s great to build rapport there is a fine line between what you should share with your colleagues or managers. Make sure some of your more personal issues stay private so as to not to create awkwardness.

Arrival Network Tip: Share your plans for the weekend – heading to a festival or a wedding – let your team know so they can feel like they’re getting to know you. Don’t go into sordid details about a night out.

10. Exaggerate what you can achieve 

One key element of your work is being honest about what you can achieve or do. With any role they won’t expect you to be perfect. It is important to work hard and try and do as much as you can but do not over promise on projects you may not be able to finish. Exaggerating what you can achieve may interfere with important deadlines within your company and negatively affect the quality of your work.

Arrival Education is on a mission to help ethnically and socio-economically diverse talent succeed. To find out more about our programs or have access to helpful content on in your journey to develop in your career drop us a message or join the Arrival Network.

Join the Arrival Network

  • You must be aged 18-26
  • Be from a socially or economically disadvantaged background
  • Looking to make a career in the corporate world
  • Not have been to a fee paying school (if you feel you still qualify, but went to a fee paying school, get in touch)

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