So you’ve landed the job, congratulations! Now what? Starting a new job is nothing like continuing your old routine. Be careful not to take bad habits into your new role. You need to get ready for the adjustment. Here are a few tips that may help you get in the swing of things sooner than later.
Rest up – take a break before diving in to your new job. It may be a while before you get a vacation. Even if it’s a three- or four-day weekend, it’ll make a world of difference. You’ll start your new job refreshed and ready to take on new challenges. You’ll be glad you did.
Plan ahead –Plan out alternate routes to work, what to wear, what to eat. There’s nothing worse than being late on your first day or being stuck with no lunch to eat and no cafeteria or nearby inexpensive restaurants. Find out what the attire is so you’re dressed appropriately for a meeting or long tour. If possible, find out ahead of time when your first pay day will be and how the pay periods work. Starting a new job can be terror on your finances. Also, find out when your health insurance benefits become effective so you can anticipate the payroll deductions but also make the necessary accommodations ahead of time should there be a long waiting period.
Introduce yourself – don’t take it for granted that existing employees know who you are. Be polite, greet and introduce yourself to everyone. People will engage in small talk with you if they have time. You’ll make fast ‘friends’ if you’re cordial and approachable.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – No one expects you to know anything. You won’t learn if you don’t ask and in some cases people won’t tell you if you don’t ask.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – Nobody’s perfect. It’s ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and don’t repeat them. Sometimes the best learned lessons are from mistakes.
Get involved – If you have the opportunity to sit on a committee, attend a company sponsored outing or be a part of a special project, do it! Its great exposure as well as an opportunity to get to know others that may not be in your work group. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get insight into other parts of the organization.
Seek out training – find out if there is a lunch ‘n learn or particular departmental meetings that you can attend. Solicit shadowing opportunities. Exposure is the best training and can really help to put together the pieces of an organizational structure and fill in any holes for things you don’t understand.
Take notes – No one wants to keep telling you the same things over and over. Take good notes so that you can refer back to them when needed. Taking notes helps to prompt follow up questions and ensures clarity. Be the good student.
Speak up – Take advantage of the opportunity to engage with colleagues in meetings, on conference calls and at lunches. Propose ideas, give opinions and take part in friendly banter. You were hired for what you could bring to the table. Bring it.
Don’t complain – don’t be too quick to share how much you hated your old boss or job. Also, refrain from sharing if things aren’t going exactly the way you’d planned. Channel your efforts to improving the situation and seeking positive solutions to some of the challenges you’re experiencing. It is definitely not a good impression to leave if every time someone asks you how it’s going you respond with negatively.
Get to know the ones who know where to get stuff you need – There is always that person that has been around the longest and knows who to call for what and where to find something. It is very likely that you will not have everything you need right away and building a relationship with the one who can get things, is largely beneficial.
Stay away from the gossipers and “Negative Nelly’s” – you don’t want to be associated with that group. You also want to learn the ropes from your own perspective so steer clear of those that want to ‘give you the scoop’ on everybody.
Make the right impression – Don’t be the last person to arrive and the one running for the door at five o’clock. Avoid taking long lunches. You should expect to go in early and stay late as needed. As a new employee you need to show that you are a team player.
Starting a new job is exciting, but it is a huge adjustment. Go into it with an open mind and willingness to learn and your experience can be a lot less daunting.