How to stand out in your first year on the job

Starting a new job can be challenging.

There is usually a learning curve as you adapt to the different factors of a new workplace. In addition to your work requirements, you will need to learn how to interact with your coworkers as well as your boss. You will need to understand office rules — like never take Becky’s parking spot or don’t microwave your seafood leftovers from last night. You may have to buy new clothes for work, adjust to starting your day at a different time, and navigate a new commute.

In short, it can be overwhelming to juggle all these factors. For most people starting a new job, it takes about a year to get accustomed and comfortable.

Here are a few useful insights to ease the transition to a new job and stand out as a quality worker.

1) Show up early: This will help you in a variety of ways. Not only does it portray you as an eager go-getter, but it will also indicate that you are reliable, consistent, and you care about your work. Furthermore, if you are early, last-minute issues like traffic or emergency phone calls won’t be as big of a problem. You will also have an opportunity to work free of distractions with fewer coworkers around to interrupt.

2) Be a good trainee: When starting a new job, someone is more than likely taking time out of their day to train you. At all costs, do not be an arrogant, know-it-all trainee. If you know something that you are being taught, don’t blurt out “I know that already.” If your trainer is demonstrating something you already know, stay humble, nod your head, and listen to what they are telling you. There is a good chance you will learn something new. You will pick up operations faster if you focus on learning, rather than pretending to know everything.

3) Do the jobs no one else wants to do: This my father’s secret to success. An employee who volunteers graciously to do the dirty-work and undesirable jobs will be endeared to most employers. There are people who will take advantage of this, yes, but most will value you for it. Make the coffee in the morning. Take out the trash. Clean the bathroom. Do the dishes. Whatever it may be, I promise it will help you in the long run.

Keenan Emery is an account manager at VanNatta PR, a public relations, event planning, and consulting firm in Salem, Oregon. PRSalem.com

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