Stewart Welch joined us with a look at 100 Rules of Success: Advice for New Employees and Old. Do you remember the movie, 'The Karate Kid'? One of the most memorable scenes was when master martial artist, Mr. Miyagi, agrees to train Daniel in the art of self-defense. For what seemed like months, Daniel's training consisted of waxing cars and Miyagi would incessantly repeat, "Wax on, wax off!"…much to Daniel's frustration. As it turns out, this 'work' was basic training for effective blocking techniques that Daniel would later use to defeat his archenemy. Before Stewart started his first job, his father gave me this advice, "How you conduct yourself in the first six months of work will set the tone for how your employer sees you forever. Make an effort to be the first one at the office and the last one to leave. Your employer will notice and in his or her mind, will see you as a hard worker." He took that advice and found that what started out as a 6-month goal became a habit that helped him start his own business. One side benefit is that more time on the job equated to more job experience and a shortening of the learning curve. He also found that folks were more willing to mentor the 'new kid with hustle'.
So start your new job with a secret weapon, "lights on…lights off!" Think for a moment about the people you most enjoy spending time with. What's their disposition? Is it upbeat and outgoing or is it downtrodden and pessimistic? Did you know that you get to 'choose' your attitude? Yep, if you are more introverted and don't naturally have that 'sunny' disposition, you can decide to change it. In, fact, your future success may very well depend on it. He began his career as more of an introvert with a more 'reserved' disposition but he quickly learned that did not produce the best results so he decided to change it. How? He reflected on how blessed he was to live in the greatest country; come from a great family; and have an opportunity to create my own future. The first phase of my transformation was 'fake it til you make it'! He learned to smile; speak to people -even people he didn't know- and if you asked, "How's it going?", his typical response became "Perfect!" He found that if you smile a lot, speak to people and genuinely care about how they are doing and what's going on in their lives and are consistently upbeat about your own circumstances, you can't help but have a great attitude.
Don't be a 'That's not my job!' type of employee. Most businesses in America are small businesses and everyone in the company needs to be prepared to help where needed. In fact, ideally, you want to become the 'go-to' person when a special project comes up. When someone is interviewing for a new job, what do you think is one of their first questions? If you came up with "How much vacation time do I get?", you're really going to need this book! Most want to know their job description. When Stewart hires someone at his firm, the written job description is: 'Whatever it takes'…then they proceed to list what we call 'Primary Areas of Responsibility'. Be prepared to do whatever it takes to help your company succeed and he assures you, the right people will notice.