Congratulations, you’ve landed a new job! You must be thrilled to have gone through the grueling process of interviews and finally being hired. It’s quite natural to feel relieved that you no longer have to worry about the outcome of the job decisions. Starting a new job can bring about feelings of fear, excitement, and anticipation. You might feel confident if you have a lot of work experience, but it’s essential to keep in mind that every organization operates differently, and you may find some surprises no matter how experienced you are.
Before starting your new job, take some time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. As the saying goes, “your work starts before your first day.” There are many steps you can take to ensure your smooth transition into your new role.
In this article, we will share nine essential tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career.
1. Preparing for Your First Day
While you were preparing for your interview, you might have done some research about the company. Now it’s time to go in-depth. Reach out to your new manager and try to find out more about what to expect on the first day. Learn what the company expects from you, and try to get a better understanding of your role.
Before day one, you can also review your company’s policies and reports to familiarize yourself with your new work environment. Understanding and assimilating this information beforehand will help you feel more grounded and prepare your mind to process new information.
2. Know Your Role and the Organization
It’s crucial that you understand your new job responsibilities as per the job description, and if necessary, ask your HR manager or direct supervisor for further details. It’s also essential to understand the company’s values and culture, including its policies and procedures.
Ask yourself, what information do you require to do your job effectively? Who are the key people that you need to build relationships with, and what are they responsible for? Be sure to learn more about the company’s competitors, as well as the industry as a whole. Keep up with information that will help you better guide your decisions.
3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work
Learning the unwritten rules of the organization is crucial to succeed in your new job. These unwritten rules may not be listed on the company policies, and you may have to learn them by being observant of your coworkers.
Find out the company’s dress code and how your colleagues dress for work. Observe the work hours, including start times, break times, and end times. Take note of how colleagues communicate with each other – do they prefer phone, email, in-person, or video conferencing? What is their communication style? Learning these nuances will help you navigate the new work environment effectively.
4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions
You may feel confident about your work experience and past accomplishments. But it’s essential to go into your new job with an open mind, without assuming that your past experiences will always apply in this new environment.
Avoid making statements like, ‘When I worked at….’ or ‘Why are you doing that? We used to do it like this…’ Instead, focus on getting to know the company’s processes and culture. Ask questions, and learn more about the situation before offering suggestions to show that you’re interested in being a team player and that you respect the current company culture.
5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification
One of the most common misconceptions when starting a new job is that asking questions is a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it shows that you’re interested in learning and keen to add value to the company.
Asking questions to clarify expectations demonstrates your initiative to learn and helps provide insight into your manager’s and coworkers’ thought processes. It will help you become more effective in your job as you learn more about how things work.
6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand
Starting a new job is the perfect opportunity to set clear expectations with your manager and colleagues. Your actions and behaviors at work tell others about your style and how you like to operate. Be clear on what feels natural to you at work, and ensure that your values align with your work actions.
Ask yourself, where do you need to set expectations? What types of expectations do you need to set so that you can succeed? Set expectations that are reasonable for someone in your position, and be prepared to provide context and justification for them.
7. Manage Up, Down, and Across
To succeed in your job, you must understand the work styles of those around you, particularly your immediate manager. Learn how you can make their job easier by anticipating their needs, informing them in advance, and showing them how your work style can benefit them.
If you manage a team or deal with multiple stakeholders, ask similar questions to build positive relationships with them. Understanding their perspectives and communication preferences will help you communicate more effectively with them.
8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company
Investing in work relationships with different groups and individuals within the company can provide diverse perspectives and insights that can help you succeed. Build relationships where you think it matters, including your manager, mentors, direct reports, mentees, and team members.
Take the time to learn from others, share experiences and ideas, and avoid negative office politics. By building positive relationships in your new workplace, you’ll find it easier to collaborate to achieve common goals.
9. Keep in Touch With Those In Your Existing Network
Don’t forget about your existing network. Keep in touch with previous colleagues and mentors, as they can provide different perspectives and insights. People who know you and your work style can offer valuable feedback and insight that can help you navigate your new role, even if they are not part of your new company.
Starting a new job can be overwhelming, but remember this is a new beginning for you to achieve great things. With the right mindset, preparation, and effort, you can set yourself up to succeed in your new role. Keep these nine tips in mind while starting your new job and you’ll be on your way to career success. Good luck!