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6 Ways to Survive and Thrive in a New Engineering Job


Although most employers understand that new hires need time to adapt, they also take note of how you go about it. While there's a lot to learn; from your colleagues' names to company policies. The actions you don't take in the early stages of employment can be just as important as those you do take. In fact, failing to adapt to a firm's corporate culture and not asking enough questions are cited as the two biggest mistakes.


Following are some strategies for adjusting to a new position and making an immediate, positive impact on your department.


Respect the corporate culture


There is nothing more embarrassing for new employees than sticking out like a sore thumb, whether by dressing too casually or being the last to arrive at the office. Once you start at a new company, observe how the successful people behave and interact with others. If you have the opportunity, consider pairing with a mentor.


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Be willing to bend


You likely will encounter internal processes and ways of doing business that are unfamiliar to you. During your first months on the job, resist the impulse to persuade teammates to "do things your way," even if you think it would be better. Talk to colleagues to understand the rationale behind current processes and procedures, and make an effort to learn them.


Know when you need guidance


Another factor in your success in a new role is your willingness to admit when you need assistance. If you are reluctant to seek help, you are more likely to make mistakes. As a general rule, it is always better to admit you lack expertise in a particular area than to submit work that fails to meet expectations.


Observe communication styles


Pay attention to the manner in which your manager and teammates, as well as staff outside your department, exchange information. Most people have a preferred way to communicate, whether it is through e-mails, phone calls or face-to-face conversations. If your supervisor expects important information to be detailed in a formal memo, sending a casual e-mail can unintentionally create a poor impression or, worse; increase the chance that your message gets lost. So always clarify preference in advance.


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Take time to socialize


When starting a new position, many professionals concentrate so much on their work that they overlook opportunities for getting to know their colleagues. True, you want to send the message that you are a hard-working contributor, but you also want to form effective working relationships with your co-workers and manager as soon as possible.


Solicit feedback


While your company may not provide formal performance appraisals to new employees, it is a good idea to get feedback during your first few months. Consider asking your supervisor for a brief meeting to discuss your performance to date.


Don't worry if you are not completely settled into your role right away. It can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to feel confident and secure in a new job. If you take proactive steps to adapt to your work environment and make a positive contribution, however, you will be well on your way to becoming a valued team member.


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