5 ways to make an impact as a new employee*

(*Without being seen as a brownnoser, bulldozer or brat.)

This is an article I wrote for Shawn Graham’s blog, Courting Your Career

It’s January—a time of new beginnings and, for many people, new jobs. If you’re in your first few months as a new employee, you are probably eager to make an impact. At the same time, you want to be careful not to rock the boat too much. How can you strike a balance between productivity and politeness? Here are five tips to guide the way:

1. Listen more than you talk. As my grandfather used to say, there’s a reason you have two ears and one mouth. The best way to learn the ropes and make friends is to listen carefully to the way people in your organization interact. People love to talk about themselves, so give colleagues and clients the opportunity to share their advice, guidance and tricks of the trade. Listening is a great way to win friends and influence people.

2. Network up and down your organization. In other words, bond with the mailroom guy. Many employees spend all of their time networking with higher-ups, when the truth is that to get things done in an organization you need connections all over. Ask a wide variety of people to lunch or hang out in the kitchen and introduce yourself to everyone who walks in. You never know from whom you might need a favor in the future.

Read the rest of the article here.


  1. Miriam says

    @ Courting your Career…

    The point about networking up and down the organization is a great reminder! My first job was on Wall Street. As a young group, we were always very respectful and accommodating to all of the “very important” people we served. It would have been easy to act self-important around the under-valued groups in the organization.

    However, as it turned out, our most crucial allies were in the copy room. We often relied on them for last minute work as a result of demands from higher-ups.

    Our “you win more with sugar than with vinegar” approach to working with everyone in the organization resulted in some miraculous turn-around times and helped earn our group a great reputation (which helped at bonus time)!

    Thanks, as always, for the insights!
    Miriam Salpeter

    • Lindsey Pollak says

      @Andrew A. Sailer- Thank you for appreciating this site and it’s content. I strive to make it a great resource. For more content and daily input, please feel free to follow me on twitter @lindseypollak


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