Like a New Marriage, Starting a New Job Requires Early Commitment

Getting hired is only the first step. Achieving lasting success in your new position requires a lot of energy and effort in the first few weeks.

There are many reasons why marriages fail. One major factor is the tendency for couples to see their wedding as a culmination rather than a beginning. For these folks, all roads lead to "I do" and then somehow just disappear from thought. The problem is tying the knot doesn't suddenly mean you're going to be happy and in love the rest of your life. Committing to marriage means working hard -- especially early on -- to keep the relationship going in the right direction.

Starting a new job is the same way. We tend to place an oversized importance on the employment search and interview process. Getting hired practically elicits a ticker-tape parade. Yet after the hangover's worn off, you're expected to march into work and perform. The alarm bell in your head rings. "Shoot, I forgot I actually have to do my new job."

So how do you step out on the right foot when beginning your first week? J. Maureen Henderson at Forbes has some ideas:

"Your first few days at a new job should mostly be spent observing and making mental notes... Your first priority should be making interpersonal connections with your colleagues. These are the people you’re going to spend eight or more hours/day with and you want to make a sincere effort to start your working relationships with them on the right foot... Use the first week to figure out your new work-life balance and begin building habits that will stick."

Succeeding in both marriage and the workplace requires the sort of social smarts that come with observation and smart relationship-building. The best thing you can do to start out on the right foot is to sit back, shut up, and make friends. If your new company has an effective onboarding process, you'll hopefully be put in a position where you can start building up your connections.

Spend the first week in the new office surveying the land. You can embark on the real journey beginning in week two.

Read more at Forbes

Photo credit: riedjal / Shutterstock

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