You’ve got the job. Congratulations! And while it’s easy to think that the hard part is over, you need to keep that new job by showing your new employers they made the right choice in hiring you. Your first day at work is likely to be daunting, but it should also be exciting; you’re starting a new journey with a brand-new company. It’s a chance to reinvent yourself, start afresh and create new relationships.
But sadly, up to 25% of staff turnover happens within just the first 45 days of being hired. Your new employer will be paying close attention to your performance. The good news is, in your first weeks you’ll just need to observe, listen carefully and show that you understand.
We’ve come up with our top tips on how to wow your boss and impress your co-workers for when you’ve just started a new job. Read carefully then go get em’!
Think before you act
We get it. You’re a keen bean. You’re all ready to go and prove that you can be that dream employee your new boss hired. Our advice? Wait. While it’s great to be enthusiastic, you also don’t want your new workplace to get the wrong impression. Don’t interrupt in meetings without thinking carefully first. Listen, observe, and act accordingly (and cleverly). You’re not expected to be coming up with grand ideas on your first day at work.
Use the first week at work to get acquainted with your role, other staff, and the company’s culture. Then, once you have a solid understanding of where you can add value, start contributing so you can make a meaningful impact.
Discover your team and company culture
As well as work, you want to discover how your company culture works, and learn about when (and how) to interact with your colleges. Every company interacts differently. Some have a more relaxed culture with employees who chat throughout the day, whereas others are more formal in the weekdays, yet have a long Friday lunch or regular team events.
Once you become accustomed to the culture you can adapt accordingly, so you never become the “awkward” one or do something that your colleagues might deem as inappropriate.
Pay attention to:
what hours people typically work
how long people take for lunch
how people communicate during the day
how and when people socialise
the language people use around the office
how people interact with the boss and upper management
While you there’s no need to stifle your own personality, not being aware and respectful of company culture may come across as ignorant or insensitive, particularly early on.
Ask the right questions
If you’re not sure about something, or need more information, ask. Your new colleagues or managers will be much less likely to get upset if you ask a question or two, rather than if you spend an entire afternoon on a project that you have approached the wrong way.
Your fellow colleagues will probably forget that you don’t have the full background on a Client, or a project, and, most of the time, they’ll be more than happy to answer questions.
Before you ask, however, make sure it’s not something you could have easily figure out for yourself. To avoid this:
See if a quick Google search can find your answer for you
Try to take notes wherever possible to avoid having to ask questions that have already been addressed
Ask for email briefs if possible, to begin with
If you’re finding you need to upskill in certain areas, try to address them yourself by learning in your spare time, or approach it with your manager over the first few weeks. If you don’t, your manager may think you are just a slow worker
Don’t get overworked
You might think the best way to prove yourself is to be the first one in the door and the last one out at the end of the day.
But working late hours or answering emails on the weekends can lead to poor performance, stress, job dissatisfaction and, ultimately, burnout. This will also set early expectations that you’ll always be able to complete a high volume of work, which isn’t sustainable long-term. Take cues from your co-workers, watching what time they leave, and aim to leave somewhere in the middle.
Set boundaries early on
The first few weeks are a great time to set boundaries with your boss. Openly check in with your boss and ask for feedback. Ask any questions you might have and question what your boss expects from you, and if you can start setting some achievable goals. The sooner you do this, the more quickly you can start working toward achieving those goals.
Ask your boss:
What a successful first month or first six months looks like
What your KPIs are
If there is anything you have done incorrectly
If there are any training opportunities available (if you need them)
You’re likely to place a foot wrong in some way when you’ve just started a new job, but that’s normal. After all, you can still use the “I’m new” excuse for at least a month or so.
Use our tips as a jumping-off point, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful career in no time!
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