Every day is a new beginning. Today, someone is experiencing their first day in:
- Their first job out of college or trade school in their chosen profession
- A new job with a new organization
- A leadership position where they’re overseeing staff for the first time
- A merit-based promotion
We love new beginnings and get excited about all the possibilities. It’s often a dream-come-true after years of hard work and study.
So, we head into the new opportunity eager to prove our worth. We want to be recognized and valued for our skills, so we focus on accomplishment.
I understand. I’ve wanted to prove myself, too.
But when you begin your work in a new job, I challenge you to concentrate on the “bigger picture,” which is your long-term development.
In other words, focus more on learning than doing. Here are the three things every person entering a new position needs to learn.
1. How your organization makes money.
Whether you work for a multi-billion-dollar corporation, small business, or not-for-profit, an organization won’t stay in business if it loses money. Too often, staff members have no idea. They assume the company will continue making money … until it doesn’t.
If you understand how your organization earns money, you’ll better understand how your work adds value. Then, you’ll do a better job helping them achieve their goals, promoting higher profits and, yes, proving your value, too.
2. Who will give you honest feedback (and how to receive it).
If you’re in leadership, providing feedback is one of the most important things you do. But if you want to improve, you need feedback, also — both positive and negative. The sad thing is that most of us struggle to give and receive honest feedback.
But there are high-value people in every organization who will tell you the truth.
These truth-tellers might not be the most popular people. That’s because most of us don’t like what they have to say (unless, of course, they’re telling us how wonderful we are!).
Find out who the truth-tellers are and build relationships with them. Watch how they give feedback. Solicit their feedback for yourself and learn to welcome it, even if it means you aren’t perfect.
It’ll help you get better.
3. Who you can trust.
You can’t be successful on your own. You need others. It’s important to know who you can count on — to understand who you can trust.
- Follow through on their commitments
- Don’t blame others
- Accept responsibility and hold themselves accountable
- Keep confidential information confidential.
- Tell you what you need to hear—not merely what you want to hear
Sadly, not everyone is worthy of your trust. You’ll learn who’s trustworthy by watching, observing, and even making mistakes when you misplace your trust.
When you find people you can trust, foster those relationships. They are the ones you’ll rely on when difficult and challenging times come your way.
Learning these three principles well will help you throughout your career.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)