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10 Things You Can Do to Make Your First Week on the Job Successful

10 Things You Can Do to Make Your First Week on the Job Successful

Adjusting to a new job is always an intimidating task. During your first week, you find yourself in foreign territory, as you are unfamiliar with your new company, its employees and the nuances of the office environment. In order to help you adapt to your new job more quickly, consider the following first-week tips.

1. Make Introductions a Priority

The old cliché regarding the importance of first impressions is relevant when it comes to your first week on the job. To make a positive impression and make your presence known during your first week on the job, be sure to make an effort to introduce yourself to people in the office. This is especially important for people who you will be working directly with on a daily basis.

2. Pay Attention to Office Etiquette

Every office is a unique environment complete with different personalities, policies and unspoken rules that dictate how it functions on a daily basis. While these intangibles might not appear in your job description, they are important elements to learn to help you transition from “the new guy” to a seasoned vet in your respective office. Everything from which fridge to keep your lunch in, to who makes the coffee are little details that will help you to adjust to office life. Keep your eyes and ears open and see how other employees handle situations so you can adapt more quickly.

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3. Find a Mentor

In addition to paying attention to general office etiquette, seeking out an experienced employee is a great way to help you catch on to office life more quickly. Find someone who knows the ropes around the office and has been there a while. Veteran employees who know how to deal with everyday challenges around the office can help you with initial concerns like where to find office supplies and whom to contact if you have a problem.

4. Get Familiar With the Neighborhood

If your new job required you to relocate, then it is likely that you are in unfamiliar territory. Taking the time to explore your new environment and learn where things are will make life much easier for you. This includes planning your route to work ahead of time and locating important establishments such as pharmacies, restaurants and grocery stores.

Planning your route to work ahead of time is especially important for your first day on the job. No one wants to show up late for their first day, and figuring out your transportation plans ahead of time will help prevent that.

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5. Seek Out Your Boss

Making an effort to sit down with your boss during your first week on the job is important, as it has multiple benefits. In particular, finding out what is expected of you right away and further down the road will give you a clear picture of what to focus on at work. Also, this will give you an idea as to how you will be evaluated by your boss and let you know what performance indicators are most important for gauging your progress.

6. Get Yourself in Work Mode

laptop and coffee

    If you are fresh out of college or entering your new job after a period of occupational limbo, then you should make an effort to adapt to your new schedule ahead of time. While getting a good night’s sleep the night before your first day is important, one night isn’t enough time to adjust to a new sleep schedule. Rather than shocking your system, spend the two weeks leading up to your first day going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up as if you were going to work. This will make surviving that first week much easier.

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    7. Pack a Lunch

    Bringing your lunch with you the first few days will ensure that you are prepared for any surprises in terms of your lunch schedule. Whether you have a small window for lunch or need that time to catch up on back work, a bagged lunch is a safe bet if all else fails.

    8. Ask Questions

    Although it might be your first impulse to shy away from asking questions, it is an important first step when learning a new job. Being upfront about confusion will keep you from letting small mistakes and misunderstandings turn into greater blunders. Taking notes is a good idea, as it will save you the trouble of asking the same question twice.

    9. Establish Your New Position on Social Media

    Updating your job title and connecting with new co-workers will solidify your connection with your new job in the digital space. You should also follow and connect with your company’s social accounts if you haven’t already. You’ll likely earn yourself more followers just by associating yourself with your new organization, which could be great for you if you plan on integrating social media marketing into your personal accounts later.

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    10. Lend a Hand

    As a new employee, it is unlikely that you will be handed a significant workload right away. Rather than sitting around the office wasting time, offer to help those around you who appear to be swamped. If they decline, at least you’ve made an effort and a good impression. If they allow you to help, consider it a learning opportunity and a chance to gain an ally in the office.

    The first week at a new job is a confusing and stressful time for everyone. To help the early stages of your new gig go as smoothly as possible, make it a point to consider the aforementioned tips.

    Featured photo credit: thumbs up by Sarah Reid via flickr.com

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    Courtney Gordner

    Courtney is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on April 8, 2020

    9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

    9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

    Congratulations, you’re starting a new job! You’re feeling relieved that the interviews and the wait for a decision from the hiring manager is over, and you’ve finally signed the offer.

    Feelings of fear and anticipation may surface now as you think about starting work on Monday. Or you may feel really confident if you have plenty of work experience.

    Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones. It’s very common for seasoned professionals to overestimate themselves due to the breadth of their experience.

    Companies offer different depths of on-boarding experiences.[1] Ultimately, success in your career depends on you.

    Below are 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career.

    1. Your Work Starts Before Your First Day

    When you prepared for your interview, you likely did some research about the company. Now it’s time to go more in depth.

    • How would your manager like you to prepare for your first day? What are his/her expectations?
    • What other information can your manager provide so that you can start learning more about the role or company?
    • What company policies or reports can you review that can get you acclimatized to your new job and work environment?

    You’ll need to embrace a lot of new people and information when you start your new job. What you learn before your first day at work can help you feel more grounded and prepare your mind to process new information.

    2. Know Your Role and the Organization

    Review the job posting and know your responsibilities. Sometimes, job postings are simplified versions of the job description. Ask your manager or human resources if there is a detailed job description of your role.

    Once you understand your key responsibilities and accountabilities, ask yourself:

    • What questions do you have about the role?
    • What information do you need to do your job effectively?
    • Who do you need to meet and start building relationships with?

    Continue to increase your knowledge and do your research through the company Intranet site, organizational charts, the media, LinkedIn profiles, the industry and who your company competitors are.

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    This is not a one time event. Continue to do this throughout your time with the company. Every team or project you engage with will evolve and change.

    Keep current and be ready to adapt by using your observational skills to be aware of changes to your work environment and people’s behaviour.

    3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work

    Understanding your work culture is key to help you succeed in your career.

    Many of these unwritten rules will not be listed on company policies. This means you’ll need to use all of your senses to observe the environment and the people within it.

    What should you wear? See what your peers and leaders are wearing. Notice everything from their jewelry down to their shoes. Once you have a good idea of the dress code you can then infuse your own style.

    What are your hours of work? What do you notice about start, break and end times? Are your observations different from what you learned at the interview? What questions do you have based on your observations? Asking for clarity will help you make informed decisions and thrive in a new work setting.

    What are the main communication channels?[2] What communication mediums do people use (phone, email, in-person, video)? Does the medium change in different work situations? What is your manager’s communication style and preference? These observations will help you better navigate your work environment and thrive in the workplace.

    4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions

    You got the job, you’re feeling confident and are eager to show how you can contribute. Check the type of language you are using when you’re approaching your work and sharing your experiences.

    I’ve heard many new employees say:

    • “I used to do this at ‘X’ company …”
    • “When I worked at “X” company we implemented this really effective process …”
    • “We did this at my other company … how come you guys are not …”
    • “Why are you doing that … we used to do this …”

    People usually don’t want to hear about your past company. The experiences that you had in the past are different in this new environment.

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    Remember to:

    • Notice your assumptions
    • Focus on your own work
    • Ask questions, and
    • Learn more about the situation before offering suggestions.

    You can then better position yourself as a trusted resource that makes informed decisions tailored to business needs.

    5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification

    Contrary to common belief, asking questions when you’re starting a new job is not a vulnerability.

    Asking relevant questions related to your job and the company:

    • Helps you clarify expectations
    • Shows that you’ve done your research
    • Demonstrates your initiative to learn

    Seeking to clarify and understand your environment and the people within it will help you become more effective at your job.

    6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand

    Starting a new job is the perfect time to set clear expectations with your manager and colleagues. Your actions and behaviors at work tells others about your work style and how you like to operate. So it’s essential to get clear on what feels natural to you at work and ensure that your own values are aligned with your work actions.

    Here are a few questions to reflect on so that you can clearly articulate your intentions and follow through with consistent actions:

    Where do you need to set expectations? Reflect on lessons learned from your previous work experiences. What types of expectations do you need to set so that you can succeed?

    Why are you setting these expectations? You’ll likely need to provide context and justify why you’re setting these boundaries. Are your expectations reasonable? What are the impacts on the business?

    What are your values? If you value work life balance, but you’re answering emails on weekends and during your vacation time, people will continue to expect this from you. What boundaries do you need to set for yourself at work?

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    What do you want to be known for? This question requires some deep reflection. Do you want to be known as a leader who develops and empowers others? Maybe you want to be known for someone who creates an environment of respect where everyone can openly share ideas. Or maybe you want to be someone who challenges people to get outside their comfort zones?

    7. Manage Up, Down, and Across

    Understanding the work styles of those around you is key to a successful career. Particularly how you communicate and interact with your immediate manager.

    Here are a few key questions to consider:

    • How can you make your manager’s job easier?
    • What can you do to anticipate her/his needs?
    • How can you keep them informed (and prepared) so they don’t get caught off-guard?
    • What are your strengths? How can you communicate these to him/her so that they fully understand your capabilities?

    These questions can also apply if you manage a team or if you deal with multiple stakeholders.

    8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company

    It’s important to keep learning from diverse groups and individuals within the company. You’ll get different perspectives about the organization and others may be able to help you succeed in your role.

    What types of relationships do you need to build? Why are you building this relationship?

    Here are some examples of workplace relationships:

    • Immediate Manager. He/she controls your work assignments. The work can shape the success of your career.
    • Mentors. These are people who are knowledgeable about their field and the company. They are willing to share their experiences with you to help you navigate the workplace and even your career.
    • Direct Reports. Your staff can influence how successful you are at meeting your goals.
    • Mentees. They are another resource to help you keep informed about the organization and your opportunity to develop others.

    Other workplace relationships include team members, stakeholders, or strategic partners/sponsors that will advocate for your work.

    Learn more in this article: 10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

    9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

    “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” – Michelle Obama

    You are part of an ecosystem that has gotten you to where you are today. Every single person and each moment that you have encountered with someone has shaped who you are – both positive and negative.

    Here’s How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

    Make sure you continue to nurture the relationships that you value and show gratitude to those who have helped you achieve your goals.

    Summing It Up

    There are many aspects of your career that you are in control of. Observe, listen, and make informed decisions. Career success depends on your actions.

    Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones.

    Here are the 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career:

    1. Your Work Starts Before Your 1st Day
    2. Know Your Role and the Organization
    3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work
    4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions
    5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification
    6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand
    7. Manage Up, Down, and Across
    8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company
    9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

    Celebrate, enjoy your new role, and take good care of yourself!

    More Tips About Succeeding in Career

    Featured photo credit: Frank Romero via unsplash.com

    Reference

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