ethnic-woman-sitting-at-table-with-laptop. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Congratulations on your new job. Now that you’ve clinched the role you interviewed so hard for, it is time to make sure that this position works for you.

There are several ways in which you can make the most of this stage on your career path, so don’t forget about those first impressions that you’ll be making. While starting a new job is exciting, it can also be one that is laced with a degree of uncertainty.

Success, therefore, could be dependent on your actions in the first few weeks. Here is some career advice to start you off on the right foot to ensure you can be a valuable new hire.

Related: Three effective questions to guide your first 90-day agenda

1. Let everyone know who you are

Prepare ahead of time. Plan your opening lines before the first day, so you have a script ready when you encounter new faces. The script could include your previous employment situation.

Pay attention to your work environment and other people. Introduce yourself to people whenever you get the opportunity and listen to what they have to tell you about the company, the employees, the building, the surroundings, the internal network, and so on.

Remembering people’s names is important. Write down notes about them as soon as you meet them to help you remember them. If you forget someone’s name, don’t be afraid to ask them again. Always remember that it is normal not to remember everyone’s name the first time.

2. Ask plenty of questions

New hires should think about what they want to know before asking colleagues for help and advice. You should prioritise the information you need. If necessary, write down your questions, so you don’t forget them.

Ask your manager’s preference in regard to emails or face-to-face meetings. If you have a large number of questions for one person, consider scheduling a meeting instead of asking them over the phone. Invite your manager to a meeting, listing off the questions you have, and give them enough time to prepare answers.

Remember, nobody will expect you to know everything in week one, so if you are unsure about something, always ask. By asking questions, you will also gain newfound confidence in your new office.

3. Get to know your colleagues better

Lunch or coffee is a great way to get to know people around you. You should try to meet new co-workers and initiate asking them out for a drink or a bite. This will help you to get to know others better and establish relationships with them. Building a rapport with your fellow team members can take time, of course, but you can speed up the process by being more approachable right from the start.

4. Learn about your surroundings

Try to get to know everyone in your new office within the first week. Find out about the company culture and structure, and ask questions about how things work in each department. Don’t worry too much about making friends right away.

Just make sure you get comfortable with your commute and learn what kind of schedule works best for you. The layout of your new workplace may be confusing at first, but you’ll only get to know it better by moving around.

5. Look for some quick wins

Everyone will be watching you in your first few weeks, trying to figure out your strengths and weaknesses, so if there are any quick wins available, you need to make the most of them.

If you face a performance review after a month or two, it would be useful if you could illustrate something successful that you managed to achieve, even if it is something relatively trivial.

6. Find out about your personal goals

On the subject of achievements: once you have settled into the role, you should try asking your immediate manager about the targets that are expected of you.

This is a good time to ensure you set off on the right footing, and that you’re fully aware of expectations.

Knowing the job description and remembering positive encouragement from those in charge of you can make a huge difference in how you plan your days and put you on a path toward career growth with the time and experience in your new job.

7. Maintain an open-minded approach

Adapting to a new workplace and professional network can be challenging. Always ask questions when you need help or clarification.

Be flexible and open-minded in the way you approach the job. It is worthwhile to note that the office culture you signed up for in your previous role may be way off the mark with your new one.

8. Know where the boundaries are

You should set boundaries during your first month in a role. You should establish them before you feel too pressured about your overall job. Learn to say no so that you can focus on your goals.

If you are moving into a particularly high-pressure role, you need to learn very quickly how to manage your responsibilities, so you do not feel overwhelmed.

However, if your new role negatively affects you physically or mentally, especially on a regular basis, you may want to consider resigning from the position. (That is what the probation period is for.)

Related: How to know when it's time to resign - and how to leave well

9. Three months in, are you achieving those quarterly goals?

When you reach the first 90-day mark, it is crucial to have a conversation about how things went and what you want to accomplish over the next few months.

Ask your manager for an informal review regarding what expectations he or she has for you in the next quarter, and get as much feedback as you can. Asking for feedback shows your manager that you care about the job and want to do well.

Ask if you are on the right track, and if there are some areas in which you need to show specific improvements. If you feel you’re underperforming in any particular discipline, take the initiative and focus on making improvements.

If you feel that you need more support or resources, quantify your reasons and speak up as well.

This is a good opportunity to find out if there are any blind spots that you may not have noticed, and to raise any concerns you may have.

10. You will inevitably face frustrations and mistakes in the first 90 days in your new job.

Do not let this discourage you. Focus on those goals you set for yourself previously. Believe in yourself, as that is the key to succeeding in anything.

Be fair with your self-assessment in that time frame, but it is just as crucial that you don’t beat yourself up too much.

A new job represents a major milestone, and it should be seen as an exciting, new chapter on your career path. By remaining positive, working to integrate, establishing strong relationships, and seeking guidance, you can make sure you get as much as possible out of this adventure.

Are you ready to make your next career move? Get in touch with our recruiting experts now. 

Read more:
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Contracting vs permanent job: Which is better for you?
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