Starting a New Job

Steps

So you landed a new position put in your two weeks notice at your current job. You are busting outta this joint, and that pile of work sitting at your desk is someone else’s problem. You feel so excited to start your new job, and you just know its going to to be better than this hell-hole.

Now it’s Sunday night and you need to get a good night’s sleep before your first day at the new gig. So you go to bed early and wait for the Sandman… Now its 3AM, and you haven’t slept a wink. All you can think is that if you fall asleep right now, you will get 4 hours of sleep, and that will be enough to make it through your first day right? Right…

Lets assume you survive the first day and fast forward a little bit. What do you need to do to succeed at your new job? How do you make sure you fit in? And most importantly, how do you make sure you keep you new job? Here are some useful tips:

Your first day:

  1. Smile you poser!
  2. Don’t worry about not remembering that guy’s name you were introduced to in that other department. In 6 months you will know his name, and won’t be able to say it without rolling your eyes. Actually you will hate everyone in his entire department, and wish you could forget their useless, unhelpful names.
  3. If business casual is the dress code, leave the tie in the car, dummy. If you can wear jeans, leave the Dockers at home. If the dress code is business formal, ditch the pin stripe suite you pimp!
  4. Do you have anything to put inside that briefcase other than pens? No! So leave it at home.
  5. Don’t bring a lunch box on your first day, tell mommy you’ll eat out.

Your first month:

  1. If you want respect, work hard! Get to the office early and stay late. You have to do your time in the trenches before anyone will respect you.
  2. Your small startup does beer Friday’s? Good for you asshole. But don’t get too comfortable too soon. If you want respect, don’t abuse the awesome perks; less drinky more worky. There is no better way to show your worth than to ralph on the ping pong table during business hours.
  3. Focus on becoming independent, being able to do your work without constantly bugging other people.

6 Months to 1 year+

  1. Focus on the core skills/technologies. Those company specific monotonous daily tasks you do are worthless to a future employer. But if you are a boss at Six-Sigma/SAP/SQL/Java,etc… two words: cash money! In 2-5 years you will hate this job as much if not more than your previous job, and be ready to move on. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but the money is!
  2. If you like your job and plan on sticking with the company, it’s time to start thinking about what you need to learn to get to the next step, which may include management or another position/title.

I can’t guarantee that you will like your new job, but if you follow these steps, you can ease the pain of being a complete newbie, and prepare yourself for the next step in your career.

Steps (Photo credit: Joe Gatling)

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Surviving a Phone Call With The Client

The Client, the source of my companies’ profits and the source of pain in my ass. Everything begins and ends with the Client. For us, we provide them with software, but you might provide them with logistics, marketing, financial services,  or maybe radioactive face cream.

In turn, the client provides your company with money, which they give a percentage of to you, and you use to buy alcohol to drown drown out the memory of dealing with the client. And by the way, that cashier at the liquor store… you are their client and the source of pain in their ass. Its a vicious cycle that ends when you die in a bizarre knitting accident. Don’t worry, now that I have revealed to you the method of your death, you can change it. Unless of course you believe in fate, in which case it looks like you are packing a half knit sweater for the afterlife.

I dread my phone calls with the client, mostly because the product my company provides them with sucks. Our software has more bugs than a Swahili crack-house, which gives the client an unlimited list of complaints to deliver to me. Can I blame them for being upset, no (yes). Can I blame them for whining like a bunch of little girls, yes! Can I blame my company for sucking, yes! Can I blame myself for not making things better? Hell No!!

Here are some useful tips for surviving a phone call with a difficult client:

  1. The answer to any question they have is “yes we can”. Even if there is no way your incompetent company could ever do that.
  2. Pretend like you care about how they wish they could [insert stupid request that makes no sense].
  3. Remember that your goal is to get off the phone as quickly as possible! If it seems like its going to be a long one, consider pulling the fire alarm or telling them that you have an appointment with your psychiatrist.
  4. Stay positive by squeezing your stress ball, imagining yourself strangling the client.
  5. Present the client with a paradox, then hang up : “a man says he’s lying, is he telling the truth or not?”
  6. Suggest that they take up a dangerous sport like base jumping, hang-gliding, or bear planking.
  7. Remember, that at the end of the day, you are awesome and they suck at life.