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How to become a trailblazer at your new job

Sarah K. White | April 6, 2016
You don't have to keep your head down at your first job. In fact, you should do the opposite. Here's how to become a trailblazer starting on Day 1.

Head to your new company's Twitter accounts and other social media profiles, see what you can find about them through a Google search or simply delve into the company's website to find as much information as you possibly can. This will not only help you ask the right questions on the first day, but it will also give you the confidence to make your mark as a trailblazer right out of the gate.

Stay engaged once in the door

Once you've made it past your first day, you should start taking note of the company culture so you can learn to mirror it, says Peppler. Every company has its own culture, set of politics and overall structure, and you want to study it to make sure you understand the overall dynamic. According to Peppler, this will help you learn how to bring up issues or communicate ideas in the future, "Once you realize what the culture is and how everyone interacts with each other, you'll better understand how to voice your opinions and ideas."

While you're working to figure out the company dynamic and how you fit into it, you should spend some time looking into industry trends. Peppler suggests setting up a Google Alert for your industry and/or company and setting aside some time each day to really dig into emerging trends relevant to your career and company. "Stay a step beyond what everyone else is doing and be on top of the industry trends. If you are bringing new ideas to the table, it will show how determined you are to make a difference at the company," says Pepper.

Keep up communication

After you've learned the company culture, figured out where you fit into the overall structure and determined how employees and management interact with one another, according to Peppler, it's time to focus on communication. Communication is one of the most important aspects to a successful career, so developing an ability to share ideas and clearly communicate them to colleagues early on will help propel your career at high speed. According to Peppler, if you want to be seen as a trailblazer, you need to establish strong communication skills to set you apart from other entry-level workers who might not be as comfortable speaking up. It's difficult to earn your status as a trailblazer if you bring ideas to the table or speak up, as Peppler puts it, "Without proper communication, your voice will never be heard."

Staying vocal at work will help build your reputation as a trailblazer and catch the eye of the people making the big decisions in the company. As Peppler says, "You need to be vocal. No one will know what you have done if you don't tell anyone about it. Express how you feel and voice any concerns you may have -- good, bad or indifferent. It will show the people who matter that you care about the organization and are looking to see it grow within all aspects."


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