Starting a new job is never easy. Between meeting new colleagues and mastering new skills your first 4 weeks may leave you feeling tired and overloaded.
To help ease some of this stress I’ve put together my top tips for your first 4 weeks.
Tips for your first day:
- Don’t show up late.
- Dress professionally. ‘You are what you wear’ people say. Before your first day, you should talk to your future manager or HR to make sure you understand what constitute acceptable attire for your new workplace.
- Don’t make too many personal calls – remind your friends and family that you are starting a new job.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Rather than making a mistake that will cost your company money (and could cost you your job), ask questions about everything you are not 100% sure.
This week is all about absorbing as much information as you can. One of your goals should be to listen 90% of the time and talk 10%. On the other side, those 10% should be asking questions.
Always take notes but don’t worry about capturing everything.
Pro tip: assign names to your notes – the easiest way to get to know everybody.
At the end of the week take a real break and do something fun and de-stressing. Do not think about work but rather socialise with your friends or family. Go to the movies.
“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.” – Bill Watterson
At the beginning of the second week ask your manager to set up some get-to-know-my-team meetings. Ask others what they think your job tasks are. This is the best way to learn what other expectations of you are.
Now that you know a bit about the job: be patient. Chances are your new boss didn’t hire you to fix the world in a day, but rather because of your abilities (and knowledge) to integrate yourself well before making a positive impact.
Start taking responsibility for your own professional progress and development. By now you should know about 90% of what your duties are.
Start looking for a mentor within your organisation. Whether at work or in your personal life everybody needs a mentor.
Try and have a serious talk with your direct manager about all unwritten rules in your organisation. This is the week to start building reports and truly understand what your performance metrics will be.
By now you are shining in your job. Try and broaden your horizons. Try and understand what your colleagues are doing. Have you noticed a task that you or your colleagues are doing over and over again? Can it be automated or streamlined? Whatever you do try not to mess with somebody’s else workflow and make sure you notify your manager of your ideas.
Try and arrange a three-month review with your direct manager. This review may not have the same make-or-break impact as your job interview but in my experience, it still has a huge impact on your future day to day activities, work assignments and most of all your salary. Better start preparing early.
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“It’s difficult to achieve success without hope and confidence.’ – Omi Sido