Sun | Apr 22, 2018

Trying hard to impress

Published:Tuesday | April 10, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Q.  I recently started a new job after being unemployed for almost a year.I am eager to make a good impression on my boss and fellow co-workers, all of whom have been with the company for at leastthree years.I know all the usual things one does to stand out at work and I have been trying.

In the mornings, I am one of the first in and in the evenings I am one of the last to leave. I try to take the initiative, as much as I can, and I'm generally very helpful.

However, this does not seem to be going over very well with a few of my co-workers.They make jokes at my expense and I laugh along but some things they say really hurt me. Nevertheless, they are professional when it comes to work so their dislike of me doesn't affect my work too much. But I am starting to wonder if I can stand the hostile environment.What is even worse is that I don't feel recognised by my boss for the extra effort I put out. She seems to think I am just doing my job.I often feel discouraged. What can I do to get noticed by my boss and get along better with my co-workers?

A.  Congratulations on getting a job in a difficult economy. You obviously have some good ability, experience, and competencies to get the job over others.Perhaps you are trying too hard to impress your boss and other co-workers. You need to consider changing your attitude.

First of all, you need to understand this new work environment's culture and ethos. Sometimes reaching work too early and leaving too late, when it is not necessary, could be a turn off and lead to the perception that you do not have a social life or are unhappy at home. And that could send a signal of not being a well-rounded person and a potential problem person.Furthermore, people who handle money or work in accounts can be perceived as having something to hide when they do not take vacation leave. So slow down and learn the work culture.

Some workplaces expect the new employee to be orientated and to be a learner rather than a trendsetter. Some people do not like to feel threatened that someone new is after their job or some new employee is trying to show them up as not punctual or hard-working. You need to assure them that you are only eager to serve and nothing more.

Good qualities

It is good to be helpful once you are not grovelling and seeking attention. And that you take the initiative is very good. It shows that you are a leader and can manage with minimum supervision.

In due time, you will get the reward and respect for your work. You might be too hasty in your judgement of your boss and her evaluation of your efforts. You have not spent a year at the workplace. You need to wait until after your yearly assessment to determine whether you and your work are being appreciated.After you have done the performance-management appraisal, then you will really know your value to the company, and remember, you can query the assessment, including asking to be given a different assessment from your immediate supervisor.

Remember, not everybody will like you and appreciate your work and your style. You need, therefore, to relax, take it easy and just do your best and be yourself in your new job.