In the current business climate, finding a new position can be a long, frustrating and time consuming experience. Once you’ve secured a role, how do you fit in quickly and hit the ground running? Here are six tips to help you settle in and make a good impression starting a new job.
1. Get connected with key people
Wherever possible meet with key stakeholders or team members early on over lunch or coffee. Starting a new job can be daunting, so seeing a few familiar faces can go a long way to making those first few days easier. Make a point to ask for their tips and advice, for example how to manage an office process or even recommended lunch spots. Most people will be happy to help and flattered that you ask, plus it shows how you value their advice.
Take the initiative to meet people. Say hello and strike up a conversation in the lift or kitchen.
2. Set high expectations for yourself
The reason you chose this job over all the others is because you like the people, you like what the company does and, above all, because you felt that you could have an impact. Starting a new job is an exciting time, but also a busy and stressful one – remember why you made this choice. You’ll also want to show your new manager that they made the right decision.
3. Be professional
From day one in your new role, set yourself clear objectives and tasks by reviewing your job description and seeing how you can contribute to the organisation’s goals. Find out about processes and system, and ways you can add value. Make it clear you are there to contribute.
The relationship building will occur over time, so save your jokes until another day.
4. Get a real orientation
Many corporate orientation programs consist of a stack of reading material on company policies and procedures and a raft of forms to be completed. They often miss out on key information like:
- “Where’s the bathroom?”
- “Who’s in charge here?”
- “What will be my key projects for the first 30 days?”
- “Where do I get the resources I need to achieve my objectives?”
- “How does my manager like to communicate?”
- “How does my team / unit / department contribute to the organisation’s business strategy and goals?”
Ask lots of questions to get the information that you need. Where possible, read and complete forms before you start.
Make a map of the office, including who’s who, what they do, their extension numbers and some personal information about them. This will help you learn names faster, understand who to ask what questions and how to prioritise so you can achieve their objectives.
5. Ask for immediate and honest feedback
Starting a new job can be daunting. New starters are often hesitant, tentative and prone to making mistakes. But this is all part of the learning process.
It’s acceptable to spend time learning your role and your new employer. There’s no need (and it will be very hard to achieve) to arrive on day one with all of the answers.
However, if your new organisation has a particular way of completing a task there is usually a reason for doing it that way. So:
- Ask questions.
- Find out why things are done as they are.
- Don’t try to fix everything on day one.
Avoid getting into bad habits that will be harder to change later. Setting good habits and getting organised from the start will make your job easier. If you have any bad habits, this is a chance to overcome them before anyone in your new company knows about them.
6. Keep busy in your new job
It can be frustrating feeling that you don’t have anything to do. Be proactive and ask those involved with your orientation if you need something to get working on.
If something comes up that is urgent or of a high priority, ask how you can get involved — that is what you are there for, after all.
In summary, some of these tips may seem obvious. However, if you don’t take the opportunity at the start to ensure optimal productivity it may be harder to rectify attitudes or behaviour at a later date. In the long run both you and your new employer will be glad you have set out in your new job the right way.