Our passage through life is more diverse in modern times.  The average American switches jobs about every three to five years, and gone are the days of working with the same company for forty years.  A lot of experts have their theory on why we switch so often; I think we simply have more options at our disposal.

Regardless, whether we get bored too easily or are never satisfied, we make a lot of career changes as a society.  One thing I’ve noticed with new hires in my industry is people’s inability to adhere to a new set of standards and rules.  Many assume things are similar between businesses within the same field.  It’s absolutely false.  Every single business is run differently, and we should all be prepared for that when we switch jobs.

There are a lot of ways to act when you first start a new job.  I usually don’t talk for a couple of weeks except for a few questions I might ask.  Some folks won’t stop talking.  The key is to let your actions do the talking.  A good employer will notice.  I have hired and fired a good number of people, and the common denominator for those making the cut is work ethic.  Here are some tips on how to approach a new job.

  1. Consider the employer. Training new employees is a burden.  It takes time, resources, and money to properly train an employee to be successful within the constructs of a new company.  Regardless of how much experience you may have, please understand that every company has their own structured foundation for engaging and completing tasks.  Don’t waste an employer’s time.  Before accepting a job position, make sure you are on the same page with the employer concerning position responsibilities, wage and salary, and schedule.  Be respectful of their time if you wish them to be respectful of yours.
  2. Be humble.  No matter how amazing you look on paper, you still must work through the probationary period.  Yes, your employer probably checked with several of your references that said you are phenomenal, but the proof is in the pudding.  Until you have proven your talent through action and your ability to work well with others, don’t expect your new employer to treat you like an all-star immediately.  Be patient.  Excellent work ethic is easy to recognize.
  3. Be coachable.  Shut up and listen.  Don’t dismiss anything during your training period, even if you’ve heard it a thousand times before.  Who knows?  You might learn something new.  Truly listen to how your employer wants things done, and execute accordingly.  There will be plenty of time to show your diverse skill set.  Take in as much information as possible, ask questions when necessary, and research and study in your spare time.
  4. Be professional. Make sure you are on top of your personal hygiene.  Nothing turns employers off more than a smelly employee who is poorly groomed.  Be punctual.  A tardy arrival to work in your first week could possibly lead to termination, and rightly so.  Learn the dress code, and strictly adhere to it.  Address all employees, regardless of position, with a well mannered respect.  Your first month with a company is not the time to joke around and hang with the cool kids.  You can do that after you have earned the right to do so.  Never gossip about other employees.  You shouldn’t do this regardless of how long you have worked somewhere.
  5. Be courteous.  When you are a new employee, you are under a microscope.  Your new employer honestly has no idea if you are going to mesh well with the company and its employees.  Be courteous to all and allow politeness and efficiency to rule the day.  Don’t talk too much.  Don’t spend time on your cellular device; it shows disinterest, disrespect, and entitlement.  Don’t make suggestions, especially to a veteran employee or manager.  Learn the ropes, and when you’ve earned your place make suggestions when appropriate.

The transitional period between jobs and careers can be stressful.  No one likes to train and no one likes to be trained.  Nonetheless, the process must take its course for us to be successful.  While entrenched in this period, make the best of it by working hard and talking little.  Your employer will appreciate your approach and it may even help with a quickened advancement.  Work hard.  Do your best; whether you like your job or not.  You never know who might be watching.