Build strong working relationships

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Hard work, honesty and a positive professional demeanour are all traits that will take you a long way in your career and also ones that will help you to make an immediate impact in a new job.

By respecting your colleagues and proving your value by offering your time, experience and expertise, you may quickly build meaningful professional relationships, which will carry you through not only the early months in your new job, but also your long-term future with the organisation.

A key part of building healthy relationships is to retain a positive attitude towards your new colleagues.

There are sure to be levels of office politics and gossip – this is just the reality of working in close quarters. However, as a new face in the team, it is important that you distance yourself from this activity.

The nuances of how a large team work together and relate are complicated and there is only damage to be done by getting too involved in gossip or politics.

Don’t risk disparaging someone or joining in a joke at someone else’s expense and spoiling your reputation early on. Before you know it, the gossip will be about you and it is hard to win back a tarnished reputation.

Kyra Cordrey, a director at Michael Page Recruitment, advises: ‘Strong working relationships not only lead to better teamwork, but also help you integrate into the team better, which will make you more engaged and productive in those first months of employment.

‘Approach your new job with a positive attitude, whether it is in the way you perform your tasks, or the way you interact with your colleagues. If you work hard, bring new ideas forward and especially avoid office gossip, you will be sure to establish yourself as a reliable and helpful team member.’

Make a good impression to all

There can be a tendency to focus all of your time and effort impressing more senior stakeholders, and a temptation to discount junior colleagues and tasks you deem to be of low importance. These things are important to someone, so do not be dismissive.

This can be difficult in a new role where there is pressure to impress and make an impact, but remember that a reputation is built across all levels, not just among your boss and the management team.

Cordrey says: ‘Positive working relationships are built on respect and you should make sure you impress everyone, not just senior stakeholders. Remember, your reputation will be built across all levels, so it is important that you focus your time and efforts accordingly.’

Professional relationships are built on respect and there is no better way to earn the respect of your colleagues than by proving yourself as an engaged and valuable member of the team – and where better to prove that you are here to take part than in meetings? (Read also: 'Making meetings work')

Make sure you turn up to meetings prepared, give your opinion, be proactive and partake in proceedings.

‘Take the time to ask questions and to listen to your new colleagues,’ adds Cordrey. ‘As much as sharing new ideas and working hard will show good initiative, you should also make the most of these first few months to learn invaluable information about the business and its current processes. This will help you work more efficiently and forge better relationships with your colleagues.’

This article was first published in the August 2019 edition of Student Accountant magazine

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