Zalora Bag & Shoes
I started my career participating at a bank's Development Program for Relationship Manager, which in some other banks is named as Fast Track program. In other scheme that develop more skills and wider areas of expertise, there is Graduate Associate, a.k.a. Management Associate, or whatever they would call it in the future. The program is aimed for (mostly) fresh graduates, which includes both in-class and field training, to prepare such employees for supervisory or even managerial positions. The trainees will be rotated into different departments to have attachment sessions with the persons in charge, and some even have their own assigned projects.
It was actually a great opportunity to be hired as one of the trainees, because I probably had only gone to the bank 2 or 3 times in prior to the job, and the program really gave me insights not only on how it works in banking day-to-day process, but also how bank runs as a part of the whole financial industry. And as a trainee, I have to learn VERY fast.
But guess what, I got “kicked out” after few months by my line manager at the branch where I was allocated (well, she didn’t exactly say the “You are fired” statement, yet she just handed me on a silver plate to my next boss who was looking for a replacement of his resigning subordinate at Mortgage Department). However, it turned out to be another blessing, because first, I didn’t quite like her (neither most of the team members), and second, I learned something beyond what I obtained in the previous division that focused on funding area (savings, term deposit, investments), which is an understanding about loans and related analysis skills.
This second experience of being a newcomer wasn’t easier than the first one. Mortgage division at that bank was built only around 1 year (or less!) the moment I stepped in, and the rest of my team were hired from other banks and have been experienced in secured loan division for at least 5 years. Meanwhile, I was recruited to work what they do, holding the same position, with totally zero knowledge of what I was doing. I mean come on; I didn’t even know what’s the difference between savings and current accounts just few months ago!
Now that I recalled those newbie moments, I think it would be nice to share about how to go through what happens after the “You’re hired” happy deal. So, here are the 4 tips on how to successfully onboard at the new workplace, based on my personal experience:
1. Dress properly
No matter how people talk about the importance of inner beauty, having yourself dressed up according to what is required or expected in your area, is highly recommended. Find out the ‘dress code’, and follow the rule. It doesn’t mean that you cannot be yourself or conduct some style experiment, but as a new kid, you might want to keep it a bit low for a while, and adjust the rule with your own style, gradually. Having your body over crowded with blings (or getting underdressed) and commit an office-fashion crime on your first few days at work which would only lead you to become an alien whom people would gossip or laugh about (most probably not in a good way, though).
2. Be positive
It’s never easy to be a newcomer at the entry level, with all the confusing works that you are asked to do and also those many different names and tasks and departments and floors and managers and division heads and rules and rooms you’ve got to remember; but complaining would be the last thing to do in any day, even the painful one. People love a person who spreads a positive vibe, and willing to learn – starting with doing things which many people would be too lazy to. That person is got to be you.
Be friendly to people around you, try to remember their names and greet them by such, with a smile. You don’t need to be Ms/Mr. Social who acts or talk like you have been a very close friend for a long time to someone (which you haven’t), and follow him/her everywhere or even try to gossip with the person and talk trash about the other employees that you even barely know of (trust me, karma is a b*tch!); but building a good and proper relationship with the existing employees can be just as important as doing your job well.
3. Be initiative
More often than not, asking questions properly to the right person is good for you. Your boss would be happy to have a person who is curious about his/her job and willing to know more. Many people are more narcissistic than they would care to admit, that they love to get looked up to, as well as to feel needed and dependable enough to learn from (as long as you remember the word “proper”, that refers to real inquiries, asked in the right time and right way, with the right amount).
Also, offering some help would do you good as well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s as simple as holding the door for the person behind you whose hands are full with a huge pile of documents, or helping out with some translations. Just remember that you should be helpful to everyone, not only to your boss, ‘cause otherwise people would see you as a kiss as*, which is NOT GOOD.
4. Go extra miles
As a newcomer, especially a fresh graduate, people would most probably have been asking if you are the right person for the position. Should you enter as a replacement to someone who resigned, that’s even tougher, because you will be compared to a certain standard which that someone has set (just pray that it’s not that high!)
Hence, I believe it’s recommended to do things, especially on your first days at the company, beyond what is expected from you. Remember, good is not enough if better is possible.