The BIGGEST Mistake To Avoid as a New-Hire
Picture this, you just spent the last few months critiquing your resume, practicing your interviewing skills, and tapping into your network. After weeks of hard-work and throwing yourself out there, you’ve managed to land a job that you are proud of. Yes! You think to yourself, reassuring that you still “got it”.
It’s go time!
You’ve been cleared by HR and you’ve mastered your way through rigorous training. You spend the first 2-3 weeks, probably with wondering eyes towards your co-workers, as you learn the ropes of how things really work at your new place of employment.
A few more weeks go by and you start feeling confident as the need to ask questions lessons. You are fully aware of company culture McClelland (2009) reported in an interview with Forbes, “it only takes about 2-3 weeks to know the culture of an organization.” This is where things start to heat up and get spicy. This is the delicate period where you need to be most alert.
Don’t let your guard down to Post-Hire shock!
Unfortunately, it is normal to let your guard slip during this phase. New employees wind up conforming with their counterparts once onboard. Some reasons may be due to the several stressors that come with the perks of landing a new job. You want to learn the job quickly, make your mark, and possibly be liked by those whom you will be working amongst. Totally understandable! But, by jumping into something new, you must be careful not to become watered down and lose yourself during the transition.
Post-hire shock is something that we all go through, yet once it’s happening, we become blinded to it stripping us of our personal branding. Now I am not telling you to throw aside the company’s procedures (SOPs) and expectations for you to reinvent the wheel based on your vision. But, I am telling you to speak up when you see an area of opportunity to improve something with your unique touch.
Hold on tight to your creative mind!
According to Kory Stevens, founder and CEO of direct-to-consumer shoe retailer, Taft employees must be given the freedom to explore out-of-the-box ideas in order to foster creativity. Keep in mind though, that all companies do not “give” their employees this opportunity.
Maybe your boss didn’t see your side of the spectrum when you pitched a new option for a project. It might just be that your boss has not been through the unique chapters of life that you have walked. Same goes for your co-workers! We all have worked in different fields, majored in different subjects, and went to different schools. Not only do we differ cerebrally, we have a plethora of different view-points based on our gender, race, religion, and social classes just to name a few.
Let your unique spark shine!
This is the moment where you must harness your greatness and add your signature sauce. Because let’s face it, your secret sauce is what landed you the job in the first place. Your unique spark is the very thing that made the hiring committee select you.
You will be glad you did in the long run too. Research shows that there is a strong correlation between those who share their unique perspectives aloud with their counterparts at work and career growth within the company (Shan, 2016). Plus, adding your mark is a confidence booster in itself and we could all use more of those in our lives.
Red flag thrown on the play!
So, if you find your ideas and voice being shot down constantly at your job, make a mental note of this as a red flag. You do not want to end up drained and life-less when you leave the office, but rather satisfied and vibrant.
Because our peers seem to conform on the job at rapid rates, again you must be careful not to fall victim to this mentality or else you will get eaten alive.
Here are some check-marks to keep in mind to make sure you are not selling yourself short:
1. Make sure to raise your hand when asked for ideas collectively. Even if you do not get called on, you were prepared to speak and share your thoughts
2. Follow up with the main decision maker if you were not able to run your ideas across elaborately. This can be done via email or a side chat after a meeting. Who knows, maybe your ideas will be incorporated, maybe they won’t. Either way, you added your touch to the mix.
3. If you hear of an extra project at hand, volunteer to get involved. Taking a can-do approach and adding value to extra projects allows for an extra opportunity of your creativity to be seen.
4. If you find yourself chatting away in the break-room or outside of work about complaints you have about the job, pay attention to it. We usually complain more if we have less autonomy on the job or feel as though we are under-valued. Take this self-feed-back and use it to apply ways in which you can feel as though you add value.