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.
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.