Jeanne Sahadi has a few tips for getting ahead in the first few years of your career. It’s also appropriate for starting a new position anywhere, new career or not. Here are the take-aways.
Ask for help, then take charge. Ask for questions when necessary, but not much more. Show initiative and independence in solving problems without going to the manager.
Know the boss. “Getting to Know You” is a song Mister Rogers used to sing, which was actually from the musical, The King and I, written by another Rodgers (Richard and his partner, Oscar Hammerstein II). Anyway, know what your boss wants and what she considers important. Seek performance feedback often.
Cultivate good relationships. “Act like you’re running for office…” but not too much. Humor, respect, and grooming are three important aspects of getting along well with people.
Don’t watch the clock. 9-to-5 is a myth. The director of my department is very watchful; we are not allowed to be in the office after 5:00 unless we have requested overtime, which is usually not granted. This is a chance from my last department, in which occasional overtime was expected.
But know when to go. If you’re no longer learning anything from your job, then it’s time to move on. Don’t just settle for a promotion if it is in title only.