10 Ways to Earn Respect as a Newcomer

Fear in the OfficeLet’s make the assumption that we’re talking about something that is brand new to us.

Now some of the comments below are going to apply to us if we move to a new job in our current organization but they will be mostly relevant to people going into something completely new and fresh.

  1. Arrange an effective induction

Those organizations that put together an induction programme often cover what, from their perspective, they think are the most important things for you to do. You may not believe that to be the case. You may, for example, want to spend more time out and about and away from your home base whilst they might want you tied up in meetings from the word go. Don’t be afraid to set your own agendas in those early days.

  1. Make the most of your curiosity

Remember that in your first weeks you are at your most curious about this new environment that you’ve joined. After approximately six weeks your curiosity will disappear and you will become typically seduced into the ways and means of this team or company that you’ve joined. What you learn and understand in those early weeks must not lie unactioned and unspoken. If you don’t do something about it then, the opportunity could be lost forever. It would be a great shame to you and your new team.

  1. Use the mantra “watch, listen and learn.”

Few people earn respect by coming in loudly. It is far better to assimilate into a new environment by watching what happens around you, listening to what is said and seeking to learn as much as you can before you go on to transmit.

  1. Seek to understand as widely as possible

You are walking into a new environment, a new culture, a new climate, possibly a different place to the one that you’ve been working at. The things that are fundamentally important are likely to be different from you’ve experienced in previous roles. Take the time to understand what’s going on. Don’t presume that you know more than you do. You do not want to be labelled as an arrogant person, especially if that’s not you at all.

  1. Find ways to get involved

There will be something that you can do in this new role. As you learn more about what’s going on, you are in the best position to let people know what it is that you can do to contribute. At this stage, although they have put you through a selection process, they may still not know the true potential that you can bring. It is down to you to work out what you can do and to let the appropriate people know as and when you are ready.

  1. Push forward on your talents

They have selected you for a reason or maybe several. You match the criteria that they set for this role. Mostly, though, organizations buy a lot more than they bargained for when they bring a new person in. There will be strengths that you can use for the good of the team and there may be things that you want to do that stretch you. Don’t wait for someone to invite you. Remind them what you would like to do.

  1. Do what you say you will do

When we are a newcomer, we want desperately to be seen as a reliable colleague. The best way for us to show that and to gain respect from our peers and from our boss is to be clear about what we’re going to do and then do it on time and ideally in a way that impresses those who see what you’re doing.

  1. Offer your support

Another way of gaining respect is to be seen as a collaborative colleague, one that is always up for helping other people around you. Do this only when you can; you can’t be constantly distracted from your main tasks – but you will earn respect if you are able to help out when needed.

  1. From the word go focus on output

Of course inputs are important but they are significantly less important than the outputs you achieve. You don’t need to be in the workplace the whole time or in every meeting or on every conference call. The most important thing to show and to be respected for is what outputs you achieve, ideally beyond those that are expected of you.

  1. Be your own person

If you can retain an independent mind and an independent spirit and get on with what you have to do professionally without being pushed around by anyone, you can have huge respect both personally and professionally. The challenge is in maintaining this over time, as changes around you will put pressure on your ability to be yourself.

Simon NorthAbout the author:

Simon North is the Founder of Position Ignition and the Career Ignition Club. Position Ignition is one of the UK’s leading career development and career planning companies. The Career Ignition Club offers a range of career support tools, advice and e-learning materials for its members.


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