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Stand Out While Fitting In

It can be challenging being the new kid on the block. Whether you are accepting a position with a new organization or joining a new team within your current company or even making a career change and facing a completely new culture—you want to fit in while simultaneously standing out. Here are five guiding principles to help you do just that.

Number one, Be A Sponge. One of the most respectful gestures you can make is to become a student of your new organization and exhibit an attitude that communicates you have a lot to learn from them. Observe and never hesitate to ask questions even if they seem naive. There is true value in being a beginner and your fresh set of eyes will offer a new perspective that will help your new organization gain efficiencies or improve effectiveness.

Number two, Socialize Ideas. Never underestimate the value of gaining consensus by sharing and socializing your ideas in advance of any formal announcements. Get to know your influencers and key stakeholders. Ask for their opinions and support and you’ll be able to add them to your list of advocates to help you see your ideas through.

Number three, Share Success. Make heroes of your colleagues and never miss an opportunity to recognize their contributions. You will be remembered for your generosity.

Number four, Continually Connect The Dots. Always pay close attention to how your efforts and ideas align themselves to the bigger organizational goals. You will foster greater buy-in from team members when the connection is evident.

Number five, Don’t Conform, Contribute. Remember, that while you may want to fit in, you were hired for your uniqueness. Don’t shy away from contributing the best of who you are.

Follow these guiding principles and you’ll know not only how to fit in but how to stand out as well. Good luck.