As they say, everyone has to start somewhere.But being the most junior member on a team is never an easy position, and it can be tough to gain trust and credibility when you’re learning the ropes surrounded by more tenured colleagues.
Part of overcoming this sometimes-awkward stage is achieved simply through patience and hard work, but there are also some tangible things you can do to quickly make an impact, regardless of your rank. Here’s how to gain the trust and respect of your colleagues and position yourself for success when you’re the new kid.
Learn the business
One of the hardest things about being the low person on the totem pole is that there’s just a lot you don’t know about your field or company. But, that’s a totally fixable problem. The more research you can do — even if it’s anecdotal — the better off you’ll be when it’s time to impress your new team.
First, dedicate time to reading through your company website, social media platforms and news releases, as well as industry-focused sites and publications, both before you start the job and in your regular weekly routine. Building up your arsenal of knowledge not only helps you do your job better and seem more prepared, it will also make you feel more confident about your lack of time on the job.
Better yet, try to connect with people in your department or those who’ve held the position previously to learn from their experiences and uncover any unforeseen challenges or opportunities. Proactively ask if you can go to coffee or lunch with your new manager or others on the team — even before your official start date. Going that extra step will demonstrate your commitment and start building credibility.
Be annoyingly reliable
When you’re the new kid on campus, it’s important to not only make a good first impression, but to keep making good impressions. As people begin to get to know you and feel out your work style, they’ll be testing you to see how you handle different tasks.
My advice is to be unfailingly reliable. This includes everything from being early to meetings to having projects completed on time and always following up with your commitments. (You’d really be surprised how far this goes!) Reliability also extends to include things like your personal appearance and punctuality. Sounds simple, but the more consistency you can demonstrate in all areas, the likelier others are to begin to trust you sooner. SEE MORE ON PAGE2