Before your first day at a new job, go out and buy a stack of index cards. During your first two weeks at work, take some time every day to stop by and introduce yourself to your core set of colleagues and management.
Spend no more than ten minutes meeting with each colleague (they have work to do, after all!). During the meeting, ask the following five pieces of information and, during or after the meeting, write them down on the index card:
- Name, including nicknames
- Role in the organization
- Years at the company and years of total experience
- Three personal characteristics, including where they like to go to lunch
- Three professional attributes or skills
At the end of every day during your first month of employment, pick a card from your collection. Review the information and commit it to memory.
Throughout your first year, use the cards as a resource to identify and connect with colleagues. When you are stuck on a problem or facing a challenge, refer to the cards to identify those with helpful or relevant professional skills. In addition, make an effort to follow up on known topics of interest and invite your colleague to their favorite lunch place. Remembering their skill sets and interests will go a long way in building interpersonal relationships and your reputation.