My journey with Zoho started a little over a year ago when I joined the marketing team for WorkDrive, Zoho's cloud storage and content collaboration platform.
Whether you're straight out of college or have been in the workforce for 10 years, the first year of work at a new company is always a learning experience. You meet new people, adapt to new work culture, and take on a new set of responsibilities. Now that I'm looking back a year later, I can see how much I've learned in this role. Here are eight tips for anyone starting at a new job:
1. Learn from everyone
One of the best pieces of advice I heard was to use the first six months to learn as much as I could. Whether it was explaining the basics of Zoho style writing or helping me create multiple types of content, my team was supportive in every stage of my learning curve. I sought guidance whenever I needed it, and my coworkers never hesitated to help. This made me more confident to push myself and learn new things since I knew I could ask for support.
2. Take time to settle in
Settling into a new role takes time, and happens in stages. First, you get to know the basics of the role and the company. Then comes the process of adapting to the social dynamics of your team and the organization. Like many of us, I took some time to learn the nuances of the job. There are instances where I took more time to complete certain tasks, but my team assisted me and gave me the space to complete them. It's fine to take your time to settle in, but make sure you use that period effectively.
3. Listen with an open mind
Talk less and listen more: as the new member of a team, you should listen to other people without losing your focus and attention. It’s important to keep an open mind and accept new ideas and constructive criticism positively. In my first year, I've learned that self-awareness is essential. Keeping track of your own performance helps you know where you stand and where you can keep improving.
4. Make friends on the job
According to Adam Smiley Poswolsky, "employees who have a best friend at work are seven times more engaged with their jobs." However, finding a friend at work isn't always easy, especially when you are working remotely. I learned that if I am hesitant to approach a coworker for help, it may hinder my progress at work. So, I made a conscious effort to come out of my shell and make friends in and out of my team.
For instance, my reporting manager is my mentor and a friend in the true sense of the term. She helped me learn the ropes of the job, guided me to improve my quality of work, and supported me when I was going through a tough phase in my life.
5. Prioritize team communication
One of the main aspects of my job is to coordinate with my team to get work done. Like many of us, it took me some time to understand the process. But since the team already had the right tools in place, it was easier to cope. For instance, I can store and share all the files we need in WorkDrive, my coworkers are only a message away, and I can create an online meeting room from anywhere. Remote work didn't keep me from staying connected with my team.
6. Use obstacles as stepping stones to success
Everyone experiences failure at work; what matters is how quickly you recover from it. Obstacles and failures can also help you realize your true potential. You will get stuck at times, especially during your first year at work. Try to consider it a humble reminder that there’s something you don’t know and an excellent opportunity to learn something new.
7. Remember that degrees aren’t everything
I'm sure we've all heard that the more qualified a person is, the more money they can make. But when I was hired at Zoho, I learned it’s not the degrees you've earned but the passion you have to excel that count. I have seen many leaders at my company who were promoted without a master's degree or a Ph.D. I've even learned of a Zoho security guard who did not go to college learned coding from a senior employee and became a member of a technical team.
8. Build a positive mindset
It doesn't matter how impatient or agitated you are: work to keep calm and have a positive attitude in your new role. Sometimes your manager may assign tasks you don’t want to do. Instead of dreading a challenging assignment, approach it with an open mind, and completing it can boost your self-confidence and increase your skills.
Ultimately, what you accomplish in your first year will say a lot about the kind of asset you’ll be to your employer. Give it your best shot and work hard to demonstrate that you’re committed to the success of the entire company, not just your own career.
Work can be stressful and has its less exciting moments, but working to learn all you can, contribute to your team, and improve your skillset makes any job worthwhile.