Lessons from Back to School

Photo by  Marten Bjork  on  Unsplash

The kids are back in school and, in parts of the U.S., fall is starting to show. Maybe you experience this too, but I always have a feeling of restlessness this time of year. A feeling of needing to prepare, learn new skills, make some changes for the future. Many candidates pick this time of year to explore new opportunities or start a job search with a plan to transition after the first of the year (you need to be with your employer to get that bonus check!). For those transitioning to a new opportunity, here are some thoughts on how to make a successful move into your new role and company. 

Show up early

There was a great Seinfeld episode where George Costanza leaves his car parked where he works and everyone in management applauds him for being the first guy in and the last to leave! I am not suggesting that you take the same approach but I do recommend getting to the office early. You will have more opportunities to meet your coworkers before the hustle and bustle starts and management will note that showing initiative. 

Make friends

I once worked at a seasonal waterfront restaurant as a waiter having never worked as a server previously. I made a LOT of mistakes and the only thing that saved me was the fact that I made friends with the most competent cooks, servers, and hosts when I started working there. From them, I learned how to do things the right way and, more than once, they helped bail me out of a situation gone sideways. It’s hard to over-emphasize the value of having a strong network of friends and colleagues that you can count on when the going gets tough.

Sit at the front of the class

It’s a simple fact that it’s easier to see and hear at the front of the class. Metaphorically, sitting at the front of the class is about positioning yourself for success. When you start a new job, make it easier to learn what you need to know from the “teachers” around you. You need to know what they know so make it easier for them to share their knowledge with you. 

Be prepared on your first day (and every day thereafter)

It all starts with a mindset. Create a mindset around what actions can be taken BEFORE an event occurs to increase the chances of a positive outcome. Consider setting out your clothes the night before, packing your lunch, and creating a short list of things you can get done the following day. These are simple things but they also safeguard you against wasting time and anxiety. Even a little planning can have a disproportionate positive impact on each day. 

Written byAustin Meyermann, Founder and President of Hunter Crown, LLC

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