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Overcome new-job jitters

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in Workplace Communication

Landing a new position at a company can be thrilling, but the opportunity often comes with new-job jitters. What to do when you’re the new kid on the block? Follow these strategies to build your confidence and maximize the moment:

1. The art of a fresh start. This is the perfect time to reflect on your previous job and determine what worked for you, what didn’t and why. Are there any activities or habits you want to eliminate or enhance? Remember, no one knows your history. If you always wanted to participate in coordinating admin team celebrations or events, now is your chance. Ask questions of your new co-workers and offer your support and availability.

2. Create connections. Intro­duce yourself at every opportunity. Use a firm handshake as you say, “Hi. I’m (name) and am now working with (supervisor). I’m truly looking forward to getting to know you.” Risk being real and take it one step forward. “You seem fun (or any other genuine compliment). Do you ever get out of here to eat lunch? If so, may I join you someday soon?” Much older than most of your colleagues? Show interest in their activities to bridge the gap. “I notice you have an iPhone. What’s your favorite app?”

3. Ask questions. When you’re new, it’s easy to question if you’re doing things the right way, which is why you need to ask more questions. For example, if your super­visor gives you his travel needs, feel free to say, “For my past employer I booked flights based on his parameters and followed up with an itinerary to include X, Y and Z. Is there any other information you’d like me to include?” After a few weeks ask, “Now that you’ve had a chance to see my work style, is there anything you’d like me to do differently?”

4. Build your network. Start attending all company functions and watch key stakeholders in action. Not sure who they are? Read the company newsletter and web site. Look for someone who would make a good mentor or sponsor to help you grow your career as you look for ways to support their efforts.

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