Magazine article Black Enterprise

New Kid on the Job: How to Get off to a Good Start

Magazine article Black Enterprise

New Kid on the Job: How to Get off to a Good Start

Article excerpt

No matter how prepared you may be for the opportunity, entering a new job can be overwhelming. Kesner Dufresne Jr., a certified financial planner with Morgan Stanley in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, had that feeling when he was figuring out how to fit into his new organization--even after sitting through training and orientation. He understood that he had to be more than capable; he'd have to be a creative, forward-thinking, solid team player even as he worked to stand out among his peers. "Not everyone will warm up to you," he says. So how would he gain the confidence of potential clients, colleagues, and managers?

Penda Aiken, founder and owner of the Brooklyn, New York-based human resources firm that bears her name, suggests three strategies: Learn the corporate culture; get to know colleagues and managers as people, not just what their titles mean; and organize your work space.

Culture is critical. Before you can begin to set goals, know the organization in which you're working. Learn how employees conduct business and view success, and how the company rewards achievement. An organization's culture defines its management and business guidelines. Figuring out its ethos will be a major determinant of success.

Build your network. Get to know the influencers within your company--immediately, They're the ones who can help you decipher the firm's idiosyncrasies and inner workings. Ask a senior manager to lunch. Join several associates for drinks after work. Use this time to ask specific questions about the work environment. …

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