Finally Found That Job? Start It Off Right

Millions are still finding work; learn the best ways to start off at a new job.

ByABC News
September 9, 2008, 6:15 PM

Nov. 13, 2008 — -- When Barack Obama starts his new job as president of the United States on Jan. 20, he'll have an army of advisers helping him decide what to do, say and think. Not so for the average Joe starting a new position -- plumber or otherwise.

When it comes to proving an employer made the right decision by hiring us, we have to fend for ourselves.

Despite the economic freefall and record-setting layoffs, some companies are still trolling for employees. has 302 upcoming job fairs scheduled in 77 U.S. cities. The job-search engine LinkUp, which mines the jobs pages of more than 10,000 company Web sites for fresh listings, had more than a million openings in its database last month. And, in spite of the recent decline in financial sector job listings, the niche site, which features original listings purchased by companies seeking workers older than 40, has seen a 10 percent increase in listings in the past year.

Most important, people are still getting hired. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 4.3 million U.S. workers were hired in September, including part-timers, temps, contract workers and seasonal workers. Yes, job growth is down in most business sectors. But 4.3 million hires is still 4.3 million hires.

While you might be gainfully employed or pounding the pavement for a new position now, eventually you will find yourself at your own inauguration day for a full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal or consulting job. If it has been a few years (or decades) since you started a new position, it's natural to feel anxious and unsure about the best way to conduct yourself in your new environs: Should you speak up in meetings? Mention that the custom database the department uses crashes every five minutes? Let on that you have no idea what the acronym everyone's been using for the past 45 minutes means?

When starting a new gig, you want to strike the right balance between team player and self-sufficient superhero. So let's talk about what you should do to ensure you hit the ground running and make the best possible first impression (just like that guy in the White House).