4 Ways You Could (Accidentally) Damage Your Reputation In Your New Job

Courtesy Of Forbes

Congratulations on your new job! While you’re busy creating your 30/60/90 day game plan and thinking of other ways you can make a good first impression, don’t forget to consider ways you could (accidentally) damage your reputation. Here are four mistakes to avoid.

Question the way (and why) things are done. You are excited about your new job and want to make a positive impact quickly, so you can demonstrate your value. But before espousing your opinions, take time to identify all angles of situations. This means understanding the stakeholders, inputs, resources, processes and outcomes or results.

Once you have this information, you’ll be able to dig deeper into certain circumstances using terminology such as, “Help me understand how…”and “How does department ABC then use this information to…?”  How you word things is just as important as the questions you ask, so think before you speak. This will help you build a reputation for being thorough and analytical, yet thoughtful in your approach.

Refer constantly to how your previous company did things.Saying things like, “That’s not how we did it at ABC company,” or“Where I came from, this is how we did it and it worked much better,”could damage your reputation in your new job. Comments like these can make you sound arrogant and will make coworkers roll their eyes in frustration.

I once led the marketing department after the parent company had purchased and merged five companies into one. Bragging about former companies was so prevalent that I implemented a fun way of calling attention to this negative behavior. Whenever anyone used the name of his or her former company in an arrogant way and someone pointed this out, the person had to add $1 to a small box in my office. When the box was filled with money, I used it to buy a pizza lunch for the team – and during this lunchtime break, we had an open discussion about the behavior. The team realized how detrimental the practice was to the newly combined company and culture we were trying to create. After that, the negative behavior ceased.

Ask for time off. You might be surprised at how often hiring managers express their frustration to me about new employees blindsiding them with time off requests. If you receive a job offer in May and your family already has vacation plans scheduled for mid-June, let the hiring manager know immediately (before you begin your new job) and proactively work with him or her to ensure that your vacation will not disrupt the productivity of the department.

Surprising your new manager with a personal time off request your first week on the job can damage your reputation because it can make you seem deceitful and immature. Managers anticipate that employees will be taking vacation time during the summer, so be sure you make this topic a point of discussion during the hiring process, not after.

Spend time gossiping. Everyone wants to get to know the people they’ll be working with in their new job – but don’t find out through the gossip in the break room. Take the time to get to know each colleague individually and form your own opinions. Don’t let other people’s gossip cloud your thinking when it comes to your new coworkers.

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