Four Tips to Avoid Being The Co-worker Everyone Hates

If you've resolved to change jobs this year, you'll soon find yourself being the new kind on the block. This situation is littered with pitfalls that can land you squarely in the "I hate that guy/gal." 

That's not good! Fitting into a new work environment can always be tricky, so in order to avoid being the office equivalent of Chris Brown, we advise you follow some of the tips that Alan Henry wrote about at Lifehacker. They include: 

1. Seek out feedback and take it gracefully — Of course you'll need to log some time at your new job before your co-workers can give you a useful assessment but it's important to ask. As the new person, some colleagues might not be so willing to dish out feedback unsolicited. When you get the chance, be honest:

Explain you already know you know you have room to improve, you just want to know where. Everyone has room to grow, and everyone at any office has opinions on their colleagues: good, bad, and in between. 

And don't take it personal! This is a job, not a personality test.

2. Find areas where you can improve — Once you have the feedback, recognize the recurring items and prioritize them. Some of these things might technical, some of them may be interpersonal. Identify which you can improve in the short-term and long-term lists. Yep, lists are good!

[S]ort that list by the things that you can easily change (things like frequency of email, tone of communication, and other "soft" skills) to things that may be more difficult to adjust (your work hours, your level of expertise with a company tool or program, etc).

Now get crackin'.   

3. Take the opportunity to improve — This is the "get crackin' part. Henry offers a good example around communication: 

[S]etting expectations up front with people can be the single biggest change you can make to go from being perceived as unreliable to being seen as communicative and on top of your workload.

For more technical stuff, that'll take time. Henry suggests checking with your boss or co-workers if in-house training is available. If the instruction you need is outside your company, look for free sessions or find out of if the cost is reimbursable. Why would your company do that? Henry writes, "For most companies, it's a win/win—-they spend a little money to make you better at your job and more likely to stay because you'll (hopefully) be a happier, more valuable employee."

4. Get a mentor — Mentoring is everywhere in the business lexicon today. It's one thing to talk about it; it's quite another to actually practice it. If you're serious about being mentored, then you'll find someone who's serious about mentoring. And finding one might easier than you think:

[A mentor] may be someone outside your department but in your team, an old boss you really trusted and liked talking to, or someone you meet in a professional association. Anyone who knows you, that you trust, and you look up to professionally.

Using all these tips, you're bound to get all Dale Carnegie on at least a few people. Good luck! 

How Not to Be The Coworker Everyone Hates [Lifehacker]

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