Whether you're fresh out of college or have been in the workforce for a while, starting a job can be difficult. Even if you're performing the same tasks, the workflow is often different. And if you're starting at a new company, the people you work with are probably different, too.
But there's one easy, important thing you can do to settle in and become efficient in your new role, writes John D. Spooner, author of "No One Ever Told Us That: Money And Life Lessons For Young Adults": Take an experienced employee out to eat.
"No matter what jobs you have or jobs you want, seek out the oldest people in your present company, or the people who have worked there the longest," Spooner writes in the book.
"Invite them to lunch. If they're still employed after long service, they must have something special to offer."
Spooner, a Harvard University graduate and Boston Globe No. 1 best-selling author, has been working in the financial industry for many years. He was named one of 100 best financial advisors in America by financial-investment website Barron's.
In his book, he recalls a time when he worked in a big office in the financial district of his city. The new employees sat in the office's boardroom, he writes, and "almost all [were in their] late twenties to early thirties … and all anxious."
As a seasoned employee, Spooner occasionally stopped to chat and share knowledge with the newbies, and he found that they got a lot out of the interactions.
"[We talked about] how the money management business has changed over the years, what they should be paying attention to and how to plan their future in the business, " he writes.
"No one tells them these things. They hear nothing about institutional memory, what makes [stock] markets move beyond daily news and how to really build a successful business and future. "
Spooner realized that junior employees can usually benefit from talking with, and learning from the experiences of, vets like him.
Don't wait for a vet to approach you, though. Reach out. Seasoned employees can "give you a different appreciation and insight into your business and the industry it's in. It will be much more valuable to you than most of the orientation and the too-often colorless meetings you attend regularly," he writes.
Making friends at work in general is a smart idea, Annie McKee, a leadership adviser for international Fortune 500 companies and governments, writes in her book: "How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship."
"We should be seeking to build loving, friendly relationships with our coworkers, not running away from them as we too often do," she writes.
"Connecting with people boosts our mood and our morale, and friendships provide us with the emotional and psychological strength to deal with whatever comes our way — whether an exciting opportunity, a challenge or a crisis."
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