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How to Win Friends and Influence People When You Start a Job

Beginning a new job can be thrilling yet intimidating. We often grapple with the pressure of wanting to make a good impression, while also attempting to seamlessly integrate into a new workplace culture. Drawing inspiration from the wise teachings and the timeless tenets of Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People, let’s explore a roadmap to enhance your initial impact and rapport in your new job.

1. Seeking Clarity: Asking the Right Questions

Imagine walking into your new office, being introduced to your direct supervisor, and after being asked if you have any questions, you say: “How is your success measured, and how can I contribute to your success and the success of the team?”

Such a question does two things instantaneously. Firstly, it signals that you are not just there for a paycheck or to clock in hours; you’re genuinely invested in the collective success of the team. Secondly, you’re seeking guidance, before making any wrong presumptions. Finally, it establishes an immediate sense of humility and generosity of spirit.

A query like this aids in clarifying expectations. You get a deeper understanding of the team’s objectives and the overarching organizational goals. Your boss is more likely to perceive you as an ally, someone willing to be flexible and adaptive and share the burden and align with their mission.

2. Setting the Path: Being Enthusiastically Coachable

Once you’ve gotten a clearer picture of your responsibilities and the shared goals, your next step is to cement your dedication by asking: “Going forward, what should I always do and never do, so that you’re always glad that I’m part of our team? And might I check with you every month for you to weigh in on how I’m doing and could improve even more?”

These questions, profound in their simplicity, reveal an acute awareness of the importance of mutual respect and understanding in the workplace. It’s not just about what you can do but how you do it. It’s a quest to understand the nuances, the dos, and the don’ts of the organizational culture.

By asking this, you invite valuable feedback from the start. You also express an intent to mold yourself to the requirements of the role and the expectations of the organization. More importantly, you’re setting a stage where proactive communication becomes the norm, and this can be pivotal in avoiding potential future conflicts.

2. Becoming a Unicorn: Mastering the Unwanted Tasks with a Smile

It’s no secret that in every organization, there exists a set of tasks that, while essential, aren’t particularly popular. They might be perceived as tedious, mundane, or even challenging. Most employees would avoid them if given the chance.

But therein lies a golden opportunity.

Identify such a task. Instead of shying away from it, embrace it. Seek to become an expert and the go-to person for that particular job. By doing so, not only do you make yourself indispensable, but you also showcase two traits that are rare and invaluable: initiative and attitude.

Your colleagues and superiors will recognize and appreciate the effort. They’ll see you as someone who’s not afraid of challenges, someone who’s willing to venture where others hesitate. Your attitude towards these tasks, if tackled with positivity and enthusiasm, can amplify your image. Instead of being just another employee, you’ll be seen as a unicorn — unique, rare, and highly sought after.

Wrapping Up

Starting a new job can be likened to the early steps of a dance. It’s unfamiliar, and there’s a rhythm to find. But with the right approach — seeking clarity, setting a path, and becoming a unicorn — you can position yourself not just as a mere participant, but as a lead dancer.

Remember, it’s not just about the skills you bring to the table but also the mindset with which you approach challenges and the relationships you nurture along the way. Winning friends and influencing people in a new job isn’t about being the loudest or the flashiest. It’s about being genuine, committed, and consistently striving to add value.

Embrace this three-fold strategy and you can not only find your place in the new setting but also lay a foundation for a rewarding and influential career.

Furthermore, if you internalize these as part of your personality, you can be hirable and valued anywhere.

The Newsweek Expert Forum is an invitation-only network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.What’s this?Content labeled as the Expert Forum is produced and managed by Newsweek Expert Forum, a fee based, invitation only membership community. The opinions expressed in this content do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Newsweek or the Newsweek Expert Forum.

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