مركز التوجيه الوظيفي Center for Career Guidance Help Sheet (8) First Year at Work Starting to work in an organisation is a unique and critically important time that requires you to have a special perspective and use special strategies to be successful. You need to recognise that the first year on a new job is a separate and distinct career stage. It is a transition stage, you have to realise that you are not a University student anymore, but you are not really a professional yet, either!!!. It will take sometime to understand and earn the rights, responsibilities, and credibility of a professional career. There is a an intermediate stage that lasts from the time you accept your job until about the end of the first year that can make a break through the early part of your career. During this period, people within the organosation will respond to you differently, work with you differently, and judge you differently. You, in response, have to approach them differently. Much of your early career Starting to work in an organisation is a unique and critically important time that requires you opportunity and success will be charted by the impressions you make on the people you work with and the perceptions they develop of you in the early weeks and months on the job. Your challenge in the early months will be to how to establish your reputation as a bright, capable, and valuable employee, worthy of the respect of your colleagues. If you are successful here, you will quickly be given opportunities to make a real contribution to the organisation and to make yourself visible to upper assignments. Mess up your introductory months and you may find yourself labeled as “ immature” and relegated to lesser assignments while your colleagues and competitors for promotions. Tips to make success Slow Down Because a strong start is essential to a successful career, then you have to learn the “ way things are done” and to figure out what you need to do to earn credibility and respect. What makes the most positive impression is not showing how much you know, but rather demonstrating the maturity to know how much you don’t know. This means eyes and ears open and mouth shut at first to learn as much as you can about the organisation and the people in it. You need to understand how things are done before you can have any hope of making intelligent suggestions for change or getting new ideas accepted. Try not to sell your ideas until you understand the way the organisation works. Remember, everybody know that university has given you only part of what you need to be successful, so don’t make the mistake of believing that you are ready when you first walk through the door. Learn the Culture Every organisation has its own unique personality and culture. That, in turn, translates into unique sets of rules and norms about how you should behave in the organisation. It is critically important that you take the time to understand the culture and politics of the organisation. Try to do the following: - Pay attention to “ the way things are done around you” and watch your colleagues, paying attention on what they are doing. - Learn what the norms and values of the organisation are by watching how others behave. - Find out the basic mission and philosophy of the organisation. - Understand what people expect of you, particularly the accepted work ethic and social norms, and the limits. - Pay attention to how people communicate and work together. All of the above and more are part of the organisation’s culture that will directly affect your success. Always try to find ways to fit in, and remember, you can’t change the culture until you are accepted into it. Manage a Good Impression In your first year on the job, you must place a premium on impression management. Everything you do early on will be magnified. Since every organisation is different, it’s difficult to precisely define the right impression. That’s way the first element of a good impression is to learn how to read the organisational environment. People at work want to notice your professional maturity, not your university student ways. They are looking for someone who has good judgment and can build good relationship with colleagues. They want to see a readiness to change and learn, plus a healthy respect for the experience and expertise of older employees. Most of all, it’s an attitude they’re looking for that says you are realistic about your role as a new employee and willing to do what it takes to part of the team. Always remember,“ the first impression you make is the last impression you make “ Manage your Expectations A major frustration of many new graduates after being on the job a short time is that their expectations are not met. Frustration is nothing more than the difference between expectations and reality. If you work at keeping your expectations realistic, you won’t be disappointed. Expect to be surprised: The odds are that many things about your job will not be what you expect them to be. It is important to remember and realize that the real world is different from textbooks. The reality of your first job is that it probably won’t be nearly as glamorous, as important, or as high a level as you thought. People skills and teamwork will be much more important than you had ever imagined. New graduates often comment on how different the challenges are from what they had expected – how much more pressure they feel, the type of tasks they must perform. Most employers are very frustrated with the naïve expectations of new graduates, so you’ll score lots of points if you work to keep your expectations realistic. 10 steps to 1st Year Success 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Adopt the right attitude. Adjust your expectations. Master breaking-in skills. Make good impression. Build effective relationships. Become a good follower Understand your organization’s culture. Understand your new-hire role. Master the tasks of your job. Acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need.