Whether you’re launching a new business or just landed a great job in your field, you’ll want to hit the ground running to make a strong impression in your new gig. Giving your job your all is a great way to get ahead, but it’s not always great for your stress levels. Here’s how you can maximize your performance in your new job without risking burnout.
If you make big promises but fall short, people will remember your performance — and not in a good way. That doesn’t mean you should sell yourself short. However, it’s better to set expectations you’re certain you can meet than risk disappointing your new boss or first customers. Doing what you say or going slightly above and beyond (but not too much) is the fastest way to convince people you’re capable and reliable.
Watch the Details
When starting a new job or business, you haven’t proven yourself yet. As a result, customers and bosses are more willing to drop you if you slip up. Pay attention to details so you don’t make a simple mistake that costs you a job. Being detail-oriented also helps you to identify what you need to learn to master your job. That way, you can ask questions while you’re still the new kid.
Be Mindful of Finances
There are a lot of financial details when starting a new job. You’ll need to set up your retirement plan, enroll in health insurance, and create a financial plan that reflects your changed income. (If you’re self-employed, your benefits look different.) If the new job comes with an increase in income, be mindful of avoiding lifestyle creep. Making a budget and prioritizing long-term financial goals like investments sets you up for success more than short-term pleasures. This is also a good time to strategize how you can repair credit and pay down debts. Doing so not only increases your financial security, but it also benefits your credit score so it’s easier to secure capital in the future.
Learn the Culture
The rules of company culture aren’t explicit, but you’re expected to learn them nonetheless. Harvard Business Review suggests examining five areas to learn how your company’s culture works: relationships, communication, decision-making, individualism, and orientation toward change.
If starting a business, consider the culture of your customers. While it’s important to be authentic and reflect your own voice in your business, it’s equally critical to speak to your target customer.
Understand the Signs of Chronic Stress
A little bit of stress can help you focus and perform your best, but too much stress harms everything from your job performance to your health. Over time, chronic stress can lead to burnout — complete physical and mental collapse. Know the signs of chronic stress to prevent burnout: Trouble sleeping, chronic fatigue, frequent illness, muscle tightness, concentration problems, and irritability and anxiety are a few signs your stress is becoming more serious. In addition to identifying signs, it’s important to have coping strategies in place so you can manage stress. Whether it’s exercising daily (even if it’s a 20-minute walk), getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night or spending time doing something you love. Find a way to get the relief you need.
Know When to Ask for More
Most people wait until their first annual performance review to ask for a promotion, but if you’re a rock star at your current job you might be able to step up sooner. However, you’ll need to nail the timing. If you ask too soon, Fast Company points out “Your manager may find your request annoying, entitled and lacking in the self-awareness it usually requires to earn a promotion.” Be confident you’re worthy of a promotion and have examples to back it up before asking your boss how you can earn a higher position.
Being motivated in your career isn’t enough to excel at your job. You have to know how to make a strong impression, avoid career-changing mistakes and navigate the politics of the modern workplace if you plan to get ahead and do it quickly. However, career success shouldn’t come at the detriment of your mental health. Rather than giving everything to your career, create balance in your life so you can achieve long-term business success.
Guest Post by Julie Morris
Life and Career Coach