My 5 Rules for New-Job Success

Whether you’re entering the full-time workforce for the first time or have years of experience, keep the following in mind when moving into any new job:

1. Spend the first several weeks taking everything in. Be eager and helpful, but don’t be too aggressive and don’t get into arguments, confrontations, or debates. Now is the time to learn everything you can about your new working environment. Much of what you need to learn will be hidden from you if you pose a threat.

2. Networking is extremely important to your career, but – for the same reasons stated above – you don’t want to go after the powerful and connected people in a pushy way. In the beginning weeks, make a strong effort to make friends with everybody. Making enemies early on – even with seemingly unimportant or impotent people – can cause you serious problems later on.

3. Come in early and stay late. But not too early or too late. You want to establish a reputation as an enthusiastic employee and a hard worker, but you don’t want to seem like a goody-two-shoes, either.

4. When you have firmly established good relationships with everyone, you should gradually increase your efforts – coming in earlier, volunteering for jobs, taking on extra assignments, and starting to set up information interviews with the movers and shakers.

5. As you improve your performance and accomplish goals, stay humble with your fellow workers, but make sure your boss (and your boss’s boss) knows that you are a superstar in the making.

[Ed. Note: For more of Michael’s advice on how to succeed in a new job, get a copy of Automatic Wealth for Grads… and Anyone Else Just Starting Out.] [Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]