You’ve started a new job and you really want to do well. Impress your boss, learn a lot, and get great results at work by following these tips on how to improve at a new job.
1. Work Out Where You Can Improve
One of the first things you should do when looking to improve at work is to work out how you can improve. This might seem obvious or seem like the same thing, but in this point I’m focusing on the “where” rather than the “how”.
Working out where you can improve will lead into working out how you can improve.
Take some time to think about what areas of your job you’re good at and what areas that you’re not so good at. This should be an honest assessment, and might take an hour or so to put together.
Some areas you can consider are:
- Emails – am I writing good emails? Are they too long? Am I using them correctly?
- Coding – do I write good quality code that does the job in the best way? Do I produce code that has a relatively low number of errors?
- Documentation – am I writing helpful documentation? Is it up to date? Is it easy to understand?
- Testing – am I creating tests that cover all required scenarios? Am I running the right tests at the right times?
- Communication – do I communicate with team members and other people well? Am I comfortable with explaining things? Am I a good listener?
- Comprehension – do I understand topics well? Do I learn things fast and correctly?
- Meetings – Am I going to the right meetings? Do I take useful notes and keep to the topic of the meeting?
If you identify areas you don’t think you are as strong in, that’s a good sign. You can then work out how to improve them.
2. Speak To Your Manager About How To Improve At A New Job
Another great tip for how to improve at a new job is to speak to your manager.
Your manager is responsible for many things, and one of which is monitoring staff performance. They should be able to give you some feedback on what you’re good at and what you can improve on.
This would depend on how long you’ve been at the company for and how closely you’ve been working with the team. If you’ve been there for a few days, it can be hard for your manager to tell what you can improve on. If you’ve been there for a bit longer, say a month or two, it should be more useful for you.
Ask them that you’re interested in improve how you go about your work and if there’s anything they can suggest that you might need to work on. Mention that they don’t need to provide feedback then and there, as it could take some time for them to think of something.
When they eventually respond, try to stay positive with the feedback. Remember, you asked for it, and it’s for your benefit, so don’t get defensive or personal. Thank them for the feedback as well.
3. Find Problems To Solve
Being a new person at the company has benefits. One of those is the ability to look at things from a different perspective and experience. Often you’re working with people who have been there for some time, and as a result, they are locked in to a certain way of doing things.
Coming in to a company as a new starter can be a good way to find problems to solve. You get to see how the company and the team do things, and you can use the fact you’re uneducated about their process and systems to ask questions they may never have heard. You can also offer up other solutions and find problems that are not visible to others.
This is a great way to benefit both the company and the team you work in.
4. Be a Great Team Member
A good way of improving in your new job is just to be a great team member. Everyone loves a good team player, and working in the IT industry is almost always done in a team.
Improving the way you work in a team can be done in many ways:
- Improving team morale by having conversations with the team and getting to know them
- Helping the team out when they ask questions
- Coming up with better ways to do things in the team
- Sharing useful resources, such as tools or websites
- Fitting in with the team – team activities, attitude, arrival and departure times
These kinds of activities should be done in a selfless way. That is, you shouldn’t be doing them just to get praise or admiration from others. You should be focusing on the team and how you can benefit them.
5. Learn About The Company
When you’re new to the job, there is so much to learn. A great method for how to improve at a new job is just to learn about the company. There are many things you should know about your employer, but some of them can take time and others are suited to later in your career.
Some of the things you can learn about your company are:
- What the long term strategy is for the company
- Who the senior managers are, and all the managers between them and you
- Who are the biggest clients or customers, and other companies that we’re involved with
- Recent press or mentions in the news, either positive or negative
Learning these things will make you a better worker, able to understand the bigger picture, and relate to others at work. This can make you feel like part of the team and improve other people’s impressions of you!