Dos and Donts for newly joined employees

It is the time of the year when after years of toiling people graduate and are eager to join their jobs. First off, congratulations to all the graduates; you worked to hard to earn your degree; enjoy the moment.

Joining in a job has its challenges. New place, new people, no matter how talented you were in school, you would have to reestablish your identity. This post talks about a few DOs and DONTs to smooth your transition into a new company. Here we go..
Your job is NOT your life
One of the most common mistakes new graduates do is to think job is their life. I’ve seen a many new employees working overtime, putting in extra hours to impress their bosses. This is a huge mistake. You raise the expectations from your boss. Your boss will expect the same commitment every time from you. You are now stuck for your career. If you cut back, it can be construed as slack. So think before you work too much on your job.
Your job is at most a part of your life. Job is your vehicle to get your life where you want it to be. Read this article to know how much your extra hours will be worth financially.
Don’t be afraid to say NO to deadline
When your boss assigns you a task, don’t jump right into it. First thing you need to negotiate is the deadline for the task. This is the first time your boss is working with you, hence he/she may not be the best judge of how much time you take on the task. When your boss sets a target date it is an estimate. He/she would really appreciate you if you are upfront and talk about the deadline, rather than come the day before deadline and say you cannot finish it. Negotiate the time, and once you do it, own the task and see to its completion.
Don’t eat lunch alone
You are new to the company and the place. You need to make friends and learn about the place. What better way to do it than make friends with the folks already working there. Invite your colleagues to join you for lunch. Everyone has to eat, and they would welcome an invitation from a newcomer. They will be more willing to talk about their experiences. Take the opportunity to know about the team, its members, duties, tips on how to get more work done. Ask about the place, things to do, best places to eat, anything that comes to your mind. Bottom line : make friends, quickly

Learn or Perish
As a new employee your primary focus should be on learning the company culture and to enhance yourself with the toolset used and the technology used. I bet that not more than 30% of what you learned at school will be applicable at your job. A new job equals opportunity to learn new technology, new methods of analysis, new approaches to problems. Take the opportunity and learn or soon you will find yourself ignored by others. As a new comer you have an advantage of asking help from others. Since you just joined everyone will be willing to help you and teach you. As the time goes by, you would be stranded with less people willing to answer your questions. Moreover they would start judging you. The best time to learn as much as possible is right after you join. Do not procrastinate.

Take ownership of your work
This is very important. When you accept a task from your boss, own it. If you need other folks to help you, go ask for the help. Don’t sit around and wait for others to fix things for you. You would face a situation where you would find a problem that is not directly under your responsibilities, but if not solved would direct affect your project. These are golden opportunities to shine in a company. It is how you handle these situations that determine how others perceive you. Own up, roll up your sleeves, tackle them and grab such opportunities by horns.

Be honest to yourself
Many a people tend to work only to impress their bosses and/or when it is time for a review. This is absurd. Don’t fool yourself. Be honest. Don’t slack off just because your boss isn’t watching or it is not review time. A good boss will constantly monitor your progress. Don’t worry about ratings, don’t worry about hikes. Don’t get caught in the rat-race of promotions. Do your best, learn as much as you can from your job and just be a better professional. Don’t ever become complacent. The day you become complacent is the day you are done in a company.

Accept your mistakes
Don’t ever make excuses for the mistakes you committed. Just admit you made a mistake and make a point not to repeat it. Do not open your statement with an excuse or an explanation. I would say even explanation at that moment will sound like an excuse. And for god sake, never say “oh! I dont know what happened, it used to work.” Your boss will immediately know when you are making excuses and will sure remember to mention that during your performance review. And when your colleagues critique your work and give feedback, be open and accept it. Later sort through and figure out what is useful to you and what is not.

Follow office culture
Try to fit into the office culture. If the company culture is to dress up formally, then do dress formal. If it is casual, then wear casual clothes. If the office hours are flexible, then go at your own time. If the culture is to come and leave on time, stick to it. If your company frowns on using instant messengers and social networking sites, don’t do it at office. In fact, reduce the amount of time spend on personal browsing, especially social sites like facebook and twitter.

I am sure there are other dos and donts, but I hope this list will get you thinking in the right direction. If you have any that you would like to share with others, please leave a comment.
Good luck with your new job!

Acknowledgements: Thanks to my friends who shared their experiences and advices especially to Kotesh Bandhamravuri & Suresh Sistla.

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Posted on May 20, 2012, in Curiosita, Money. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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