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Mar 4 2016

How to Earn the Respect of Your New Boss


The night before a new job is usually a sleepless one. From adjusting to the idiosyncrasies of the office to taking on unfamiliar projects and learning different skills, there’s a lot flying at you in those first couple of months.

But your behavior during this period can have a huge impact on your professional relationships. If you work hard—and strategically—you can earn your boss’s trust and respect right away. Here’s how:

1. Listen

When we’re in new jobs, we often feel pressured to “prove our worth”—which typically translates to speaking up in meetings, proposing new ideas, revamping a system or process to make it more efficient, or correcting people.

But this proactive approach actually backfires. Not only can it make your new coworkers and boss resent you, but you probably haven’t been there long enough to properly assess things.

Instead, listen. For the first four or five weeks, you should be receiving information far more than giving it. Once you’ve gotten the lay of the land, you can make some well-founded and thoughtful suggestions.

2. Take Notes

Taking notes earns your boss’s respect for two reasons. First, it shows that you’re attentive and eager to do a good job. Second, it proves that you’re not the type of person to make avoidable mistakes, since you write down the instructions and lessons you’re getting.

And although it might feel old-fashioned, we suggest taking notes on a notepad rather than an iPad. Your quest to be attentive will be foiled if your boss catches you checking your email while he talks.

If you want bonus points, at the end of your training session (or when you feel you’ve learned the ropes), compile your notes into an orientation booklet for the next employee in your position. Your boss will be thrilled.

3. Triple-Check Your Work

There are a couple of situations in which triple-checking everything you do is a good idea: when you’re making incredibly sensitive or important decisions, when you’re doing work that someone else (such as your boss) is relying on, and when you’re in a new job.

Mistakes are expected during your first couple weeks. However, you’ll want to save your “error quota” for the unavoidable ones, rather than the ones that you can fix by looking over your work not once, not twice, but three times.

We promise, your manager will notice you’re turning in solid work.

4. Make an Effort with Your Coworkers

During these first weeks and months, you’ll be solidifying how you and your colleagues interact with each other. For example, if you’re always reluctant to join them at lunch, they’ll probably stop inviting you. In contrast, if you’re warm and helpful, they’ll probably leap into action when you need help of your own.

It might seem like your supervisor doesn’t pay attention to how well you get along with your coworkers, but this couldn’t be less true. It’s hard for people who don’t like each other on a personal level to work together professionally, making it pretty important that there’s civility (if not friendship) in the office.

Ultimately, developing friendships with your coworkers will show your boss that you’re a team player. And, hey, you’ll get some friends out of it!

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.

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