Most people think that once they’ve started a new job, their job search is over. I’ve been recruiting since 1973 and I continue to be amazed at the strange things that can take place after a person starts a new job.
The first bit of advice is for you to expect that the job is going to be quite a bit different than what you thought it would be. Things are never the way they appear on the outside looking in.
The second suggestion is to observe very closely in your first few weeks what is going on in the company. The best way to find out the real scoop is to talk to the most senior level administrative personnel (we used to call them secretaries). These people know more about what is going on in the organization than anyone. They may not be the decision makers, but they still know more about the organization and all the managers.
Get to know your immediate supervisor’s personality and style. Do this with all those with whom you interface. Don’t hesitate to ask lots and lots of questions regarding procedures and protocols. Nobody expects you to be intuitive about anything – you are the new kid on the block. It may not hurt to take notes about what you learn, especially regarding any “unofficial” procedures.
Recognize and avoid the negative people who exist in every organization. They can range from people that see the glass half-empty to people who are downright negative, gossipy, and in some cases, slanderous. Avoid them like the plague.
The most important thing you can do as a new professional is to be quiet and not draw attention to yourself until you really learn about the company and the personalities of the people. Too often, newly hired professionals try to immediately show how good they are by drawing attention to themselves before they really know the lay of the land.
No matter how good you might be, no matter how smart you are, no matter how much you might be able to contribute to the organization, you will have much more impact and be received with much more respect if you learn as much you can about the organization and its personality before you start having significant input. Understand that you will have plenty of time to prove yourself – later.
Goals are always elusive. We all have a tendency to set goals and, once these goals are achieved, set others. It seems that the need to strive for something better is a physical condition, however what we become on the inside – how much our spirit and soul grow in the process of obtaining our goals – is where we should focus.
Before soul and spirit expand to the same relative size as the physical, social, and mental components through the emotional goals that we attain, we struggle with a mismatch of the inner and outer person.
OK, so you’re asking, “Tony, what does this have to do with my getting a new job?”
It is really pretty simple: as you are going through the emotional process of changing jobs, through the ups and downs, the advances and setbacks, you need to pay attention to your internal growth.
Are you becoming a better person in the process of getting what you want? Are the trials and tribulations making you stronger? Are you learning more about yourself? Are you more sensitive to others? Do you see the world through other people’s eyes just a little better?
Finding a job is a practical, valuable thing to do. Ironically, every job is temporary… after all, life is atemporary assignment. I guess you could go through the job search process focusing only on the tactical, practical value of finding a job, which is to make a living. But the process will be tremendously more gratifying if you also focus on the kind of person that you become from the process. Not only will you get a better job, you’ll also become a better person. What you become in the process of getting what you want is more important than what you actually get!