New Employee's Guide To OLA
For the first time since the pandemic, we have been accelerating the pace of our hiring at OLA. Every few weeks, for one reason or another, it seems as if we are ordering a computer for a new employee. That always gets me thinking back to my first job at LifeSpan Communications nearly 25 years ago in the Year 2000.
Starting a new job can be both exciting and nerve-wracking as it is an opportunity to make an immediate impression on your new bosses and co-workers. So I thought I would share a checklist of things that I learned along the way to make sure those impressions are positive ones.
Listen Before You Speak
My dad always recites a quote by Abraham Lincoln that says, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” To me, this means it is okay to stay quiet and just listen instead of just talking for the sake of talking.
Listening is a skill that often gets overlooked, but is fundamental in both professional and personal life. When you start a new job, it's crucial to be a keen listener and TAKE NOTES (even if you fake them).
Also, I always like when new employees proactively ask for feedback on their work. This
shows a commitment to improvement and helps them avoid making the same mistakes twice. Constructive criticism from a boss or manager can be invaluable for growth. It also provides a great opportunity to help your manager become a teacher as opposed to a guesser of how they can help you.
Most times, your new company and teammates will have different ideas and approaches than you. If you just observe and listen, you'll not only learn more, but earn the respect of your peers much more quickly.
Never Stop Growing
The world is constantly evolving so you must embrace change and adapt a growth mindset. I always believe in the power of self-education. Take the initiative to learn on your own. Read industry publications, watch webinars and stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
I always tell my team that I am not a genius and don’t know EVERYTHING. I encourage them to seek opportunities for training and development on their own and I will support it. This ranges from webinars, courses and online resources that can help them expand their skillsets.
Also building a professional network, both inside and outside the organization will help you learn from others. Attending in-person industry events, and at a minimum, connecting with colleagues on LinkedIn, will expand your network and perspectives on the world.
A strong work ethic is the foundation of any successful venture whether it is in your personal or professional life. It involves dedication, accountability and consistent effort. A good acronym for it would be PACT (punctuality, accountability, consistency and time).
Punctuality: Arrive on time for work and meetings. This demonstrates your commitment and respect for your time and others.
Accountability: Own up to your mistakes and take responsibility. A strong work ethic includes being honest, even if you made an error. Leave the excuses on the cutting room floor.
Consistency: Meet your deadlines and OVER-DELIVER quality work to set you apart as an important and valuable team member.
Time: Give yourself the grace to know that skills develop with time. Instead of trying to rebuild Rome in a day, every few months, try to identify areas for improvement or new projects ideas to propose to your manger that you can tackle in time.
Every new job should begin with listening, learning and a strong work ethic. These qualities will set the stage for your professional growth and can lead to exciting opportunities within any company.
As you embark on this new adventure, remember that everyone was once the NKOTB (new kid on the block). Don't be afraid to ask questions, seek guidance and put in the effort. Hopefully these steps can be a compass on this exciting journey at OLA or wherever your career starts. Your success truly starts now!