Starting a new job is nerve-wracking. You don’t know where to go, what to do, or who anybody is. We’ve all been there, and we know how you feel! So here are our top tips for finding your feet fast, and standing out (in a good way).
1. Get there early.
The absolute worst impression you can make is to arrive late on your very first day. Show that you’re ready and eager to do a good day’s work by getting there 10 to 15 minutes before your official start time. You might even do a test run a few days in advance to see how long the commute is likely to take.
2. Learn in advance what you’ll do first.
If you can walk in the door knowing who you’re supposed to meet or what office you should go to, you’ll have more confidence. Have your contact’s name and phone number on you in case the receptionist has to call him/her to come and get you.
3. Scope out the environment.
Knowing your way to the restroom, break room, supervisor’s office and other frequent destinations will save you a lot of time and stress. Also find out what’s available for lunch (microwave? refrigerator?), coffee, vending machines, water, office supplies and other necessities.
4. Make nice with your team.
Advice from experienced co-workers can smooth your path into the company faster than anything. Learn as many names as possible. If you’re invited to lunch, break or after-work drinks, go. This is when you’ll hear what’s really going on within the company, and how to navigate around the pitfalls.
5. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open.
You might think you should try to do something impressive right off the bat. On the contrary, it’s wiser to focus your first few days on learning rather than achieving. Watch, listen and ask questions. And don’t be surprised — or complain — if your duties aren’t limited to what was listed in the job description. Consider them as more bullet points for your resume!
Expectations in a new position can be high for all concerned: you, your colleagues and your managers. With these tips, you’ll be empowered to succeed, and even exceed those expectations!