So, you got the job – way to go! But now you have the new job jitters. The good news? That is perfectly normal. When starting a new job, nearly everyone worries about having the right skills to succeed and making a good impression. Having a healthy dose of the jitters can be a good thing if it propels you to take steps to get off on the right foot that first week, month, and quarter. If you do, you’re more likely to become an indispensable part of your new team.
Before Starting a New Job
Before starting a new job, it is always best to research the company culture and be prepared in advance. Anything you can do ahead of your start date to make your first day, week, or month go smoothly is a smart move.
Learn the Company Culture
Explore social media posts and read the company’s publications, newsletters, and/or annual reports to gain a broad sense of how the organization operates, carries out its vision, and treats its employees and stakeholders. Study the company’s organizational chart to learn the names and positions of as many people as possible. You can research them on LinkedIn and social media to have a good working knowledge of the main players in the organization and your department.
Make sure you stay in regular communication with your hiring manager or HR department in preparation for your first day. You want to gather all the necessary materials you will need and fill out as much paperwork as you can ahead of your start date. You may need to provide information and documentation for tax, insurance, identification, and benefits.
First Day on the Job
Your first day on the job may consist of completing training, filling out paperwork, or having a full-fledged orientation. On the other hand, you could be thrown directly into your first project. Here are a few tips for starting a new job that will make for a successful first day and week.
Make a Great Impression
Arrive early and introduce yourself. Making an impression starts here. You certainly don’t want to jeopardize your new job by being late your first week. Yes, you’re the new person, but don’t wait for others to acknowledge your arrival. Proactively introduce yourself to your colleagues and managers, whether it’s in meetings, as you pass them in the hall, or as you take a tour of the facility. Be friendly and try to use their name at least once in your interaction. Consider connecting with your colleagues on LinkedIn to help you make a strong impression.
It is important to connect with your manager early to learn his or her preference to communicate. Whether it's emails, instant messages, phone calls, or in-person visits, you want to proactively verify that you are on track with the first week and initial expectations. Make sure to take this time to ask any questions you may have. Your success is a reflection of them, so they will welcome this initiative. The human resources department is a resource that you should become familiar with and utilize to your benefit. Whether you have to ask for information about onboarding or the company has a well-oiled orientation process, HR will be your go-to for information about company policies, procedures, and benefits.
How to Be Successful at Work
Tips for starting a new job go beyond the first few days. Once you get that first week under your belt, you’ll want to start thinking about how to make yourself a highly valued employee for the long term. It’s easy to feel vulnerable if this is your first professional job or if you have made a career transition, but a few smart actions can help you achieve new job success as well as new job satisfaction.
Make Yourself Valuable
Whether it’s getting to work early to make the coffee, volunteering for the grunt job on a project, or identifying a task you can help your manager with to make his/her job easier, find a way to make yourself an extra asset.
Taking an interest in your peers goes a long way in building valuable relationships in the workplace, which makes the job more enjoyable. Developing a few friends that you can socialize with outside of work can ease the stress of the job, also. Don’t forget that starting with who you know is what helps us build professional connections.
Collaborate with Others
Some people prefer to work alone, and some people like to get all the credit for the team’s work. Instead, truly come to the table with a mindset of working together for the greater good. Be open to others’ ideas and identify how you can best contribute to ensuring everyone looks good at the end of a project.
Develop your Career
Whether you take advantage of available company training or seek professional development outside of work, there are several ways you can develop your career.
Within your organization, you should volunteer for a project that will stretch your skills and showcase your abilities. Making an impression is important, and sometimes you’ll have to go the extra mile to do it. However, you will want to assess early whether the expectations of your time and energy are realistic. Decide what your limits are and set healthy boundaries sooner rather than later so you can maintain your well-being.
Assess Your Values and Goals
A method for career advancement is taking a self-assessment. Career assessments help you analyze the critical areas that comprise who you are. A self-assessment of your values, interests, personality, and aptitude gives you the courage and confidence to advance your career.
Continue Your Education
An excellent way to keep learning and growing is to enroll in an online degree program. Those who are serious about long-term success and career advancement generally pursue a bachelor's or master’s degree. This is important if you want to keep yourself at the forefront when your supervisor is thinking about succession planning.
Ottawa University’s Online Degrees
Our tips on starting a new job will help calm your new-job jitters and give you the confidence you need to rock it from day one. As you settle into your new role, keep thinking about your future. Ottawa University’s accelerated online degrees are the perfect start for career advancement. In addition to being online, we’re conveniently located in Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix. Call us today!
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