the buzz on hr

September 4, 2014

Bringing that “Back to School” Magic to HR – part 3

In Part One, I gave tips on orientation and onboarding.

In Part Two, I talked about the importance of setting the tone through expectations.

I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the part of ‘the student’. So that’s what Part 3 is about … “Back to School” magic is not just about the teachers, the same way that new job isn’t all about the company. The student and the employee also have to play their part. Each has to bring their own magic to the occasion for the first moment and all the moments after to have the greatest effect.

Here are a few things you can do at your new job or new promotion to bring that “back to school” magic:

  • Prepare yourself. Research the job you’re going to do and the typical duties you’ll perform. Find and talk to people already performing the work to learn from others. Read relevant books and articles. A clear picture in your mind’s eye of what you’re getting into will build your excitement and anticipation.
  • Bring  inspiration. While I don’t encourage a whole lot of office decoration, when starting a new job or position, it’s a good idea to bring a few items to liven up your workspace, show some personality and keep you motivated. Keeping reminders of who you are, what you do and why ensures you’ll stay engaged even after the newness wears off.
  • Choose a friend. Find someone to bond with early on so you won’t feel so alone. Even if you don’t remain friends with the person forever, it will help in the first few days to have someone to talk to and ask questions. Try to pick someone in your department and/or on your same responsibility level to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
  • Dress the part. To the extent your budget allows, refresh your wardrobe when starting a new job or promotion. Consider a change up of hairstyle and grooming as well. When you look better, you feel better … so if you look different, you’ll feel different. This will help you embrace the change brought by this new role.
  • Have a plan. You know what you were hired to so you should have some idea of how the job should be done. Not all organizations will have a thorough orientation and training plan ready and waiting for you. Some may not have any plan at all! Don’t wait or stunt your progress waiting for them to catch up. Know what you want to do and start figuring out ways to make it happen from the moment you begin.

You’ve got to bring more to the first day than just “what’s in it for me.” It’s work — not a concert. No one is there to engage or entertain you. If you bring your own ideas and enthusiasm, you will be happy and you’ll make a difference.


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