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11 Things NOT to Do the First Week on Your New Job

Susan Dunn -- Your first few days in a new job, you're being scrutinized under a microscope and are only tentatively welcome. Use your Emotional Intelligence to survive the first 100 hours! Here are 11 things NOT to do.

According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, the hardest thing kids must do is break into an already-formed play group.

In adult life, that's starting a new job.

We are intensely territorial at heart. Our reptilian brains are keyed to be suspicious of "intruders," and to fear what we don't know. Your first few days in a new job, you're being scrutinized under a microscope and are only tentatively welcome. Use your Emotional Intelligence to survive the first 100 hours! Here are 11 things NOT to do.

1. Don't forget people's names.

If you do nothing else, remember people's names. When introduced, wait expectantly for a cue. If they stick out their hand, shake it. If they don't, just smile and say the usual.

2. Don't move in too fast.

Take it easy bringing your "things" to the office. Save the photos and personal items for a while. Place your yogurt discretely at the back of the refrigerator. Don't grab any old cup from the coffee room, or start making the coffee until you see how it's done. It's a reptilian, territorial thing. You're moving into THEIR turf.

3. Don't talk too much, reveal too much, or express unnecessary feelings or opinions.

Keep your conversation light, neutral, and just enough to be friendly. Sure as you get loose, you'll step on someone's toes. You don't know yet who just got divorced, who's married to an Italian, and who's opposed to daycare. As soon as you say, "Well, personally I hate..." the next person who comes in will have that, do that, like that, or live there.

Use "neutral" language and tone of voice, like the anchor people do. Avoid any slang or colloquialisms in this new country. The King's English: what you learned in school.

4. Don't assume anything.

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