You know your worth. But you’ve just started a new job and you’re back down at the bottom of the ladder. How do you make your coworkers and supervisors see the grounds for all your confidence? How do you get the senior team members to listen to you when you share ideas or make suggestions? How do you get a seat at the big kids’ table? (Without, of course, coming off as arrogant or corner-cutting or worse, as an insufferable know-it-all.)
Here are 3 suggestions to get you on the right track to office domination—without alienating anyone. In short: how to get genuine respect when you're the new person at work.
1. Help out
If your workload isn’t challenging enough and no one is trusting you with sexier projects, you can always offer to help a colleague who has a lot on her plate. This accomplishes two things: a) you win that colleague over as a friend for life by pitching in when she needs it most, and b) you have an extra opportunity to shine. Do good work and you both look good. Instant prestige and gratitude! And you look like a hero. Start small and become your team’s go-to guy. Prove that you can rise to the occasion, whatever may be asked of you.
Offering up ideas and suggestions in meetings isn’t a solo sport. You’re working as a team, remember? Don’t hoard all of your best ideas and information; share it! All that research you are doing into industry trends? It’s no good if you keep it to yourself. Sharing shows your intelligence, plus it asserts your position as a resource in your office. Remember to stay humble and also ask your coworkers and superiors for information and insight, especially if you’re the most inexperienced. All this boils down to: keep learning as much as you can.
3. Build relationships
The best way to get respect is to earn it, and recruit people to your corner. This can’t be done dishonestly, so there aren’t any tricks involved. Be genuine, not obsequious. Do your share of listening in every conversation. Find a mentor. Earn your teammates’ trust. And don’t get bogged down in office politics or gossip.
Keep your cool, and keep your head above the fray. It may take time, but if you behave like a decent human being and find good ways of showing your stuff when given the opportunity, you will earn the respect and admiration of your colleagues.
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