Business professors share 5 tips for new-hire success

It may be a challenge to think back and recall all the words of wisdom from your business professors in college. Of course, being a team player will get you friends and added responsibility, but there are more strategies to consider. We’ve asked experts from business schools for their tips for success when you start a new position.

Be accountable

Rise Mish, professor of the practice of management at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business, says being a stand-out begins with doing what you’re hired to do.

“Showing up on time, delivering what you’ve been asked to deliver, in the format and by the date/time you’ve been asked to deliver it: that’s ‘table stakes,” Mish says.

She says an employee should and must do all of that in order to be positively regarded, but that alone won’t typically suffice to make you a stand-out. But, what will?

“Showing that you are thinking critically, rather than expecting your boss to do all the thinking for you/the team,” Mish adds.

Go above and beyond

Standing out as a new hire involves asking to take on additional projects and attending meetings to fully understand the organization, says Matthew W. Burr, assistant professor of business administration at Elmira College.

“During my first job in HR, I ended up building production scheduling boards and running our all-hands meetings with the general manager,” he says.

To further prove your commitment, ask questions, continue to read industry or business-specific books and find a mentor, he says.

Embrace the business basics

Dr. Steven Cates, a graduate professor at Purdue University Global, recommends these fundamental skills for new hires to succeed.

“Arrive early, it shows dedication and eagerness to excel; dress professionally, the first impression is lasting; understand the scope of what you are expected to do; and ask for and study the job description,” he says.

Furthermore, Gates says to be an active listener, answer questions when called upon and remain enthusiastic and engaged from day one forward.

Create a newcomer strategy

Formulate a strategy for joining a new group, says Keith Rollag, professor of management and Murata Dean of the Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business and former Chair of the Management Division at Babson College. He says to actively manage your psychological transition into new roles and recommends getting out there and introducing yourself, proactively learning and remembering names, approaching people and asking questions, making an effort to build relationships, and be willing to try new things in front of strangers.

Mind your social media platforms

A professional social media presence is important especially if you’re connected to work colleagues.

“Ensure your LinkedIn page and other social networks present the professional you and this includes everything from your profile photograph to your daily status updates,” says Kristen Sosulski, Ed.D. clinical associate professor of information systems and director, Learning Science Lab, NYU Stern School of Business. “Spruce up your LinkedIn page to showcase examples of your work with strong endorsements from former colleagues. Everything should follow the same style and design in terms of font, color, and graphics used.”