Congratulations, you have a new job.
It might be your first and it might be one on the career ladder, either way you need to prepare well for your new job. There are some fundamental tips for both starting with simple steps and progressing to ideas which you may not have thought of. This means that it is not just performing well that will be important but also how you behave.
Tips for starting a new job
- Wake up on the first morning feeling positive and excited. Of course it is natural, especially if it is your first job, to have butterflies and qualms about what lies ahead. However, you aced the interview and have been offered the role based on your skills, knowledge and experience so believe in yourself, have confidence and enter the workplace with a positive attitude. You can succeed and you will learn and experience new things but you have the job. Of course you’ll turn up in good time having rehearsed the route and checked the transport timetables.
- Dress to impress and dress to be comfortable. You will have attended interview and most probably met some key colleagues as well as your manager, so you should have an idea about the culture of the organisation and how it presents itself. Match your dress code with this. Ensure you are clean and smart, polished shoes and feeling well dressed. Settle in gently by blending in with your co-workers. Understanding the office environment and work culture is part of settling into a new job.
- Talking of culture; look, listen and learn. Different organisations have different ideas about work ethics and codes of conduct. Apart from dressing appropriately there maybe other quirks or commonalities that exist. Observe them well and take on board what the dynamics are around you. Are there rotas for preparing refreshments? Where do colleagues take their lunch? Or do they even stop to take a break? Is there a clock watching culture or an ethic of unconditional over-work? Every work environment is different, the people are unique and all have their particular ways of working, you’ll want to fit in but also feel comfortable with what you are doing.
- Get to know your team, learn their names as quickly as possible and seek out a friendly face as a source of information. Ask questions and learn from them, support them where needed and contribute as best you can. Ensure you recognise the team efforts and are loyal to their efforts. Incidentally, your co-workers may well invite you to join them socially after work. This is a good time to find out more about them and develop good relationships for working. Shared out of work activities are encouraged although too many happy hour drinks may well exclude you in future gatherings and damage your reputation quickly.
- You will not be expected to know everything on your first day in the new job so be prepared to ask questions, even take notes of the answers if necessary. Ensure that your orientation or induction covers the areas that you need to know as well as aspects of health & safety, discipline procedures etc. Communicate as openly as possible with colleagues and supervisors using clear language so that they can help you understand procedures and practices in the workplace and how best you can perform your job.
- The preparation you did for interview will stand you in good stead in the first few days on the job. You should know what the purpose of your own job role is, how it fits into the team and the precise goals.You are also going to need to discover more about your own targets and objectives so getting to know your line manager or supervisor is key in the first few days. You will want to know that you can meet their expectations and that you understand how performance is measured, what your priorities are an how success is perceived. When you accomplish tasks; track them, log them and discuss them with your manager. Make sure they know you have goals and that you are reaching them.
- Take ownership straight-away of any slip ups. New hires make mistakes, from mistakes we all learn and grow. Admit you have made a mistake and seek out advice how to correct it and what to do next time to avoid a similar situation. Ask for regular feedback to ensure that you are on the right track; this will help avoid any unnecessary mistakes.
- Being on time, having a good attendance record is something that is highly valued within the team and by being in post a little before start of the working day and leaving slightly after the close shows that you are dedicated and keen to learn and prove yourself in this new job. You can pick up as much information as you can in those first few days and establish yourself as a valued member of the team.
Starting a new job is always scary, or at least for me it’s always scary. It’s like the first day of school – Sean Maher
- Keep your personal life out of the office so turn your personal mobile/cell phone off, forget about making reservations on line, checking social media and updating statuses. You are in work time and in the workplace. Whilst there, you should be focused on delivering and acting on your responsibilities. Keep out of office politics, especially whilst you are new. Do not get involved with opinions or discussions that you are not directly affected by, or that you know little about. By all means listen, but keep your mouth shut and do not repeat what you hear.
- Listening is one of the most highly valued skills in the work place and one that is often misused. You should be listening a lot during your first days and when not understanding, asking for clarification. Listen well and develop the art of absorbing information for use at a later date.
Being the newbie in the office and in the team is a challenge for everyone. By keeping a low profile, being actively interested and enquiring you will create the right impression and start on the right foot. You will also need to keep an open mind to gain a great reputation and excel in your new job.
Good luck. For support or more information, please contact Assessment 4 Potential.
Share your own experiences below...