7 May 2024

Secrets to success in a new workplace

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woman stressing as people give her more files

If you are feeling lost and a bit overwhelmed, you are probably not alone. Photo: Assertive Way.

Bruce Kasanoff reveals some workplace secrets that help you get through the first few weeks at a new job until you have properly learnt the ropes.

While your new boss may appear formidable, the truth is, he or she is navigating a complex world just like you. Here are six insider secrets that shed light on the realities of your new workplace.

I’m not as powerful as you think: While it’s easy to assume your boss or their higher-ups have complete control, the fact is that everyone has someone to whom they answer.

Even the chief executive is accountable to the board, investors, regulators and the media (in the case of the public sector, a minister). We’re all in this together, working within a larger system.

Sometimes, you make me scratch my head: We all have moments in which we say or do things that leave others confused.

Maybe you spoke up without fully grasping the situation … or perhaps you weren’t paying attention until it was your turn to contribute? Occasional slip-ups are no big deal, but if you’re consistently met with puzzled looks, it’s time to take notice.

Those ”Huh?” moments are often a precursor to more serious conversations about your performance.

You need a superpower: In today’s competitive job market, having a skill that your boss can’t live without is your golden ticket. Doing your job is not enough.

If you don’t come to your job with a standout skill, make it your top priority to develop one. Your future job security depends on it.

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Don’t sell yourself short: If you love your new job so much that you’d do it free, that’s great, but keep that information to yourself.

Knowing your worth is the key to being valued and compensated fairly.

Confidence is the key to unlocking your potential: You could be the most competent person in the room, but if you don’t believe in yourself, others might not see it either.

Embrace tactics that boost your self-confidence, whether it’s ”faking it ’till you make it”; power posing, or surrounding yourself with supportive people (i.e. try building a personal board of advisers). Find what works for you and let your talent shine.

I don’t have all the answers. Not even close: Your boss is human, too. They’re likely dealing with shifting budgets, bureaucratic hurdles, economic fluctuations and ever-evolving technology, just like everyone else.

Sometimes, they might be expertly navigating these challenges, while at other times they might be just as lost as you are feeling. In this case, a little empathy goes a long way.

Bruce Kasanoff is the founder of The Journey, a newsletter for positive, uplifting and accomplished professionals. He is also an executive coach and social media ghostwriter for entrepreneurs. He can be contacted at kasanoff.com. This article first appeared at kasanoff.com.

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