You perfected your resume, aced the interview, and negotiated a fantastic salary! Now it’s time to prove to your bosses that they made the perfect choice in hiring you. The first week at work can be both tantalizing and terrifying. Whether you are in an experienced administration position or taking your first steps up the career ladder, a lot of the same rules apply. Remember, first impressions can be hard to shake, so it’s vital to get off on the right foot.
Don’t Try to Change Too Much Too Soon
It is natural to try to make an immediate impression and get things moving straight away, but more often than not, it will be a case of too much too soon. You may feel the urge to try to stamp your authority on the position, but it is much better to take a step back and watch from afar while you decide on the best course of action. You fit in with a whole team environment, and there is no way you can pick up all of the nuances in just a few hours. Try not to rush things, and once you have a better feel for the company, then it is time to make your mark.
Familiarize Yourself With the Culture
Every company has a different approach to work, so one of the first things you should do is accustom yourself to the team ethos. You don’t want to end up as an outlier, so it is much better to take the middle ground and observe for a few days to make sure you don’t do anything out of place.
Try to observe if your colleagues tend to get their work done studiously, or if there is a more laid back atmosphere with jokes flying around. Does everybody go for lunch and coffee breaks at the same time, or is it more individual? Try to observe the little things so you can mingle in with the others quicker and more efficiently.
Don’t be First or Last to Leave
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be the first one out of the office when you start in your new job. However, it is equally important that you are not the last to leave either. While you may think it gives a good impression, you are just setting yourself up to fail. In the first few weeks of work, you are setting your standard. If the bar is unrealistically high, you are only going to come short as time progresses, and you start to burnout.
Instead, take a cue from the others in the office, and try to leave somewhere in the middle. Your boss isn’t expecting to employ a superhuman who can work 12 hour days, so work your shift, and as long as you aren’t too early or too late, you will be fine.
Ask Questions if You are Unsure
In any new job, there will always be things you don’t know. If you are struggling with anything, then speak up and ask for help. If you want to get off to a productive start, then spending a few hours working out how to log in to the network isn’t helping anybody!
Although, do exercise a bit of caution. You don’t want to ask questions that you can easily find the answer to, so don’t waste people’s time. Check for yourself first, and if you are still stuck, shout out to get you back on track.
Set Aside a Meeting With Your Boss
It will probably take a day or two to feel like you are correctly set up and know your way around a bit more. However, once you are up and running, it is a great time to set aside a bit of time with your boss to talk about projects and goals. Make a list of questions you would like to ask and try to gauge what the short, medium, and long term targets are.
You should also show an interest in the company as a whole. So, if there is anything outside your department that you are unsure of, be sure to ask as well. The best employees are the ones who show a broader interest in the business, so any knowledge you can gain is valuable.
It is natural to be nervous or apprehensive in the first few days, but this feeling usually wears off quickly. It’s then time to get down to business and give the best impression you can to your colleagues. Trying to rush into things too fast is usually a recipe for disaster. Instead, try to treat the first week as a learning experience, and you stand the best chance of excelling in your new position.