How to Establish Influence at a New Job
So you’ve got a new job. Congrats! But now you face the challenge of adapting to your new workplace and building your reputation and influence within the organization. This can be a pretty daunting task to even the most seasoned supervisors and employees, but it’s important that you dive right in and start carving out your role and reputation without delay.
As you concentrate on mastering the tasks required during the first few weeks of your new position, it’s important that you also gain an understanding of how the organization works as whole and determine the cultural dynamics of the workforce. This will help you gain momentum quickly as you work to build legitimate influence and provide measurable value in your new position.
Here are some tips for doing just that:
1. Become the go-to person for whatever you do
When you introduce yourself to other people within your new organization, you should establish yourself as an authority in your position and offer to be of assistance. When you make the introduction, explain what your role and responsibilities are and why others should come to you when they need assistance with something in your realm of expertise. Once you’ve build yourself up as an authority in one particular area, people will start seeking you out for assistance even in areas outside of your job description. The goal is to be in demand because of how good you are at whatever you do.
2. Make friends in high places
Seek out people who are well respected in your new organization This person could be your direct superior, a project manager or others who are well respected regardless of their position or length of service. Arrange time to chat, and let them know that you’d love to have their advice as you acclimate to your new position. Having an influential person in a mentorship or coaching role will help you to build your skills and influence. Start with your new boss; it’s always a good idea to find ways to help them meet or exceed their goals.
3. Really listen to coworkers
Get to know your coworkers and their goals, challenges, and responsibilities. Find ways to help them be successful. Go out of your way to help them when they need assistance. You can only build influence if you have the admiration and respect of the people that you work with. But remember: this isn’t about building paybacks due to you; it’s about being seen as an invaluable resource.
4. Invest constantly in your most important product – YOU
Work each day on improving your skills in these critical areas.
- Core business, administrative and time management skills
- Technical skills required of your current position and desired future positions
- Interpersonal and communications skills
All three areas are critical to your success. Study, practice, ask for help, and improve every day. Let others will see how dedicated you are to mastering your number one product – YOU!
John J. Hall, CPA
John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.
Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”