Five tips for succeeding at your new job
Author: Crista Tappan, The School of Business
Posted: July 10, 2019

A recent study from Portland State University found that new employees who feel overqualified can improve their chance of long-term success if they learn and develop proactive behaviors. 

The study, co-authored by business professors Talya Bauer and Berrin Erdogan, discovered that employees who deliberately take action to reshape their early experiences positively impact their long-term success within the organization, regardless of how they perceive their qualifications for the job.

While this discovery is important for HR professionals looking to help their new employees successfully enter their new roles, it’s also important for employees to be proactive.

To help you apply proactive behaviors in your next job, Bauer created this checklist for onboarding success: 

•     Gather information. Try to find as much about the company and the job as you can before your first day. After you start working, be a good observer, gather information and read as much as you can to understand your job and the company. Examine how people are interacting, how they dress and how they act to avoid behaviors that might indicate to others that you are a misfit.

•     Manage your first impression. First impressions may endure, so make sure that you dress appropriately, are friendly and communicate your excitement to be a part of the team. Be on your best behavior!

•     Invest in relationship development. The relationships you develop with your manager and with coworkers will be essential for you to adjust to your new job. Take the time to strike up conversations with them. If there are work functions during your early days, make sure not to miss them.

•     Seek feedback. Ask your manager or coworkers how well you are doing and whether you are meeting expectations. Listen to what they are telling you and also listen to what they are not saying. Then, make sure to act upon any suggestions for improvement. Be aware that after seeking feedback, you may create a negative impression if you consistently ignore the feedback you receive.

•     Show success early on. In order to gain the trust of your new manager and colleagues, you may want to establish a history of success early. Volunteer for high-profile projects where you will be able to demonstrate your skills. Alternatively, volunteer for projects that may serve as learning opportunities or that may put you in touch with the key people in the company.

If you are a manager and interested in tips for creating effective onboarding processes, check out the guest blog that Bauer wrote for Google’s website re:Think.