Tuesday

New Kid on the Block?

They will look at you with a peculiar look, whisper something about you when you aren't looking, and try to befriend you if they can get something out of you, those old employees who know your job better than you.

You are the new kid on the block and chances are they had plenty of time to meet with one another on what changes they want to see happen in the workplace since the old person left.  "Sir, have you considered changing our department's work-flow to include A, B and C?  Have you noticed our break-room, we could sure use a new...?  Did anyone tell you about our admin, she is  useless?"

Show off your skills too soon and you just might have some people taking advantage of you, take too long to address an issue and someone might be looking to get rid of you.  Finding middle ground is often a challenge, but you can do it!  The advantage of being the new kid per-se is that you can bring a fresh perspective to an old way of doing things.  If your ideas help the team meet goals, you come out ahead.  However, if your thoughts are nothing more than repackaged goods from yesteryear, you won't win those that "have been there and done that." 

How might you make a lasting first impression?  Start off getting a few loyal followers by doing the following: "really" listening to them and address each concern, help them with those small requests (like a personal day off), offer a lunch date with the staff, create an incentive program to make some work days a little more interesting, and acknowledge a few personal announcements like that upcoming birthday or recent birth of a grandchild that an employee shares with you.  They will think, "You remembered--wow!"

Being the new kid doesn't have to be a difficult transition, but you can make it be if you do some of the following things.  For instance, if you don't bother to make a to-do list everyday, nothing you really want to get done will be accomplished.  You will find yourself frequently forgetting to do things and apologizing more times than you can imagine for not staying up on tasks,  not only that, you won't turn your bosses' heads (at least positively.)  They will think, "Now why am I paying her the big bucks?"  Forget to meet with key staff and you will be left out the loop.  Miss too many important phone calls and/or arrive late for work often, and someone will think you are slacking off.  As long as you look like you are in control, you just might win the respect of your team.  Before long, you won't be that new kid that your employees think they can manipulate.

Nicholl McGuire

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