Tag Archives: career

Promoting Yourself At Your New Job

16 Aug

A lot of my readers seem to come to this site via Google searches relating to new jobs, so I figured, in honor of my readers and to help those of you out that seem to be starting new jobs (which seems to be a lot of you), I thought I would discuss how to promote yourself at your new job. By promote yourself I mean get noticed and be seen by those around you.

So here is the scene. You landed a new, exciting job, and you just started or are getting ready to start.

First things first, remember that this transition into your new position is a chance to make changes and to prove yourself to your new co-workers. The spotlight will be on you for the first few weeks, or even months, with everyone always wondering what you are working on and how you are doing. Are you making a lot of mistakes? Are you catching on quickly to the new systems and protocols? Are you making connections with your co-workers and helping them get to know you?

Second thing to remember: the first day, week, or even month may not be that exciting. While I am sure you are ready to jump in and start working on everything, know that training and moving work to you takes time. So be patient. If you are slow, wait it out. I’m sure it will get better.

Ok, now that we have all of that out of the way I can get down to the meat and potatoes of the new job business.

Most of you know, I hope, that what you do in the first few months at your new job will either make or break you. It is in these first few months that you need to show your boss and your co-workers why you are such an asset to the company and that they should continue to invest time and money in you.

Here are some tips for promoting yourself around the office and making everyone know your worth:

HIT THE GROUND RUNNING

I know, I know, you might not be busy, and that’s ok. What I mean by “hit the ground running” is that you need to be ready and willing to get your feet wet and venture into various different tasks that you have never done before. If you find that you aren’t busy at first, go around the office and ask people for work or if they need help with ANYTHING. If you are busy, embrace it and do everything you can to keep up the pace. Your company is going to want to see that you can be productive and that you are benefitting them.

PROMOTE YOUR SKILLS

You can do this through the various assignments you have, at meetings, or in discussions with your co-workers or your boss. It is my advice to try to promote your skills – the skills that set you apart – at every chance you get. If you are a nurse and you are great with patients, make sure others notice this. If you are an attorney and are a great brief writer, volunteer to take a stab at writing a brief. If you are in sales and you are good at cold calls, make sure your boss recognizes this. While I don’t want you to go and tell someone every time you do something great – don’t be afraid to brag a little bit. For example, if you land a big client your first month on the job don’t be afraid to admit this in meeting when discussing the new account. If you don’t mention it, no one will.

GET INVOLVED

If your co-workers invite you to lunch, happy hours, conferences, etc., make sure that you go. They are inviting you because they want to get to know you and they want you to get involved. I know that going to social events with people you don’t know can be strange and awkward, but it is a part of establishing a career and expanding your network. Getting involved can even be as simple as joining the company softball team. The point is that you want to start building a connection to your co-workers right away.

UNDERSTAND THE COMPANY CULTURE

Every company has a very different culture. By culture I  mean anything from actual culture (my last company was primarily Indian dominated and so they celebrated many Indian holidays), office hours, where people eat lunch, how long they eat lunch, how people dress, whether people schmooze in the hallways, whether they go out for a drink after work, etc. Understanding all of the nuances of your new company will allow you to ensure that you are doing things in accordance with what everyone else has become accustomed to. You don’t want to be the Chatty Cathy if talking in the hallways is unacceptable.

If you are finding it hard to figure some of this stuff out, ask someone you feel comfortable talking with.

NEVER SAY NO

Even if you are slammed and have been asked if you can help out, DON’T SAY NO. Even if you have plans after work and have been asked to attend a speaking event or a happy hour or some other business-related event, DON’T SAY NO. While you don’t have to say Yes to everything the entire time you work at this new company, you need to say Yes the first few months you work there. Not only will saying yes show your dedication to the company, but it will probably give you a chance to build some relationships with your co-workers.

You Have The Power To Make Yourself Happy

6 Jun

The other day I was listening to a good friend complain about her job. She was going on and on about how her boss micromanages her too much and drives her crazy on a regular basis. I let her vent because sometimes that is really all we need, and then I said, “But I thought you liked your job?”

She responded by saying, “I do like my job, just not all the time.”

This got me thinking, is not liking your job some of the time normal? I have days where I wonder whether my career path is the right one for me, and then my husband tells me that it is called work for a reason. While I tend to agree that work cannot be exciting all of the time, aren’t there people out there who claim that they absolutely LOVE what they do? I always hear actors saying how blessed they are and how much they enjoy their job, but are there really average-Joes out there who thoroughly enjoy their jobs enough that they can tell you with a straight face that they are 100% happy?

If you listen closely you will find that a lot of people complain about their jobs. Heck, I even complain about mine. Either the drive is too long, your boss is a jerk, you don’t get enough direction, your boss micromanages you, you aren’t learning enough, you are bored, you aren’t making enough money, or your work simply doesn’t stimulate you. At some point in my life or another I have felt every single one of those emotions, but does that mean that my career path is all wrong? Does that mean that I am unhappy?

Even if having those days where you hate your job is normal, how do you know if you are really happy?

In my opinion you have the ability to make yourself happy. Happiness is a decision you make and you alone hold the power.

Ok, I hold the power, what does that even mean?

To me it means that we have a responsibility to ourselves to take a step back and evaluate our situations and feelings to determine whether or not we are happy with our given job and life circumstances. If you feel down about your job one day try taking the time to really thinking about how you feel. Ask yourself, “why do I feel unhappy?” Is it because your boss just yelled at you or is it over something much more serious, like working your fourth weekend in a row and feeling like you want to cry or throw yourself off a bridge?

Once you figure out what it is that is bothering you, consider whether this is something you can live with forever. For my friend I mentioned above, I asked her if she could stand working for her micromanaging boss forever. Her answer – probably not. This tells me that deep down she is unhappy in her current situation. Sure, there may be days when she feels good about her job, but those days where her boss is overwhelming her stand out in her mind more so than the good days.

When I have a bad day or am annoyed at work I always sit back and think about why I am mad or annoyed. Usually finding the answer and being honest with myself allows me to fix the problem. At my last job I found that I was always in a bad mood after work. It wasn’t because my boss was mean, it was because my day had been boring or very uneventful. Yes, I know that work gets boring and slow sometimes, but I was bored and slow all of the time. I took a long time thinking about whether that meant my current career path was wrong for me or not. I did almost everything I could to try to see if something else made me happy – I thought of applying to business school, I started writing a book, I created this blog, and I applied to other positions that I was qualified for. In the end I discovered that my current working situation was what was making me unhappy, so I made a change. Now I am working in a new position that fits my overall life and professional goals better.

We all have the power to change our own lives and get them moving in the direction that we want them to go. I always hear people saying they are stuck in a rut or have no other options, but I don’t agree with that. If you are unhappy at work figure out why and make a change.