What you say during your first day on the job can mean the difference between a lasting relationship with your new employer or a dash in the pan for your career.
“If you say something that’s off, it sets the tone, and that could be the reason for you to be let go in your first three months,” says J.T. O’Donnell, a career and workplace expert, founder of career advice site, CAREEREALISM.com, and author of “Careerealism: The Smart Approach to a Satisfying Career.”
“It’s natural to want to be liked — to impress and fit in quickly,” explains workplace confidence expert Michelle Kerrigan. “However, many try too hard, and talk too much when they should be listening.”
'If you hadn't talked about that prior to joining, landing in the new job and suddenly dropping these kinds of bombs on them really shows a lack of communication and respect on your part,' O'Donnell says.
'They're expecting you to just come in and be there and be present, be eager, be ready and willing to learn.'
A question like this is basically asking coworkers to gossip -- that's a career killer, Randall says. And one person's beef with another coworker is their business only and could have developed over matters you have no idea about.
'Take time to meet and engage in small talk with each person in your department,' Randall suggests. 'Judge for yourself.'
You may come across a way of doing things in your new company that you don't understand or agree with, but framing it this way makes you seem like a Negative Nancy or -- even worse -- just plain dumb.
'Get some feedback before you make this automatic assumption,' O'Donnell suggests. Instead of saying the policy doesn't make sense to you, ask why the company does it this way, the history behind it, and try to understand the policy from the organisation's point of view.
Maybe your previous boss was an idiot. But negative complaints and comparisons are rarely welcomed, Kerrigan points out, and these kinds of statements can be harmful to your professional brand and how you're perceived. You're the one that's coming off as clueless.
'Your brand is your trademark, and it's built by consistency -- good and bad,' she says. 'Once established as bad, it's hard to change perception. You need to build and maintain a positive brand -- to be memorable for the good.'
Unless it has something to do with your job, you might consider bringing the 'never discuss politics or religion at the dinner table' rule to your desk as well.
'These discussion aren't generally well received in a work environment,' Randall says. 'You may find coworkers shying away from you as Fridays approach.'
As a general rule of thumb, make 'Ask, don't tell,' your personal mantra for the day, O'Donnell suggests.
Unless asked, it's better to keep your opinion to yourself and see what your employers have to say about things first.
Defer these kinds of questions to the policies and procedures manual, Randall says.
'Inquiring and asking for perks is so 'me, me me' -- an unfavorable trait.'
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