The first month of a new job is both the most critical and the most challenging. You’re expected to learn a lot in a short amount of time, and you put pressure on yourself to ensure that you live up to your new manager’s expectations. To help guarantee your success in the new job, there are five things you should do.
Asking questions is the single most important thing you can do when you start a new job. No matter how thorough the onboarding process is, you won’t learn everything you need from new hire training alone. Rather than making assumptions, ask questions. No one expects you to know everything, or even remember all of the things that you learned during your training.
Asking questions and asking for help won’t make anyone think anything less of you. In fact, it might even help your colleagues respect you more. It will show them that you’re humble and not a know-it-all, and you’re willing to be a team player. Your managers will certainly appreciate the fact that you’re looking to learn and aren’t afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Find a work buddy.
One of the first things you should do when you start a new job is find a work buddy. A work buddy is basically your guide to getting settled in at the new job. They can teach you everything that’s not covered in your new hire training, and give you insights into how the team works, what your boss is like, and so much more. Ideally this will be one of your colleagues who you’ll be working closely with, so you can go to them with questions at any time.
Starting a new job can be incredibly lonely, especially if you don’t have any connections at the company. Since you spend a good portion of your day at the office, it’s important that you find a circle of people you can lean on. Make a point to introduce yourself to people you meet in the breakroom and attend any company events that are happening. More often than not, it will be up to you to make these connections, so don’t be afraid to take the first step.
Your goal here isn’t to become best friends with everyone, it’s to have a work family. Workplace friendships don’t have to extend outside the office. Just having that support at work makes a huge difference in overall morale. The good news is that once you’ve made one new friend, they’ll start to introduce you to their group, and your circle will grow from there.
Familiarize yourself with workplace policies.
You should know the basic policies of your new workplace, like working hours and vacation, before you start the job, but they’re always worth reviewing once you actually start working. You’ll also want to find out if there are any other policies regarding things like break times, lunch policies, company laptop or cell phone policies, or anything else specific to your new company or role. These should all be clearly outlined during your orientation and/or onboarding, but often there is so much information being thrown at you then that it’s easy to miss a few details.
Put yourself out there.
It can be tempting to want to wait until you feel 100% settled in at your new job to put yourself out there. Don’t give in to that temptation. The best way to learn is by doing, not simply observing. The quicker you can work together with your new team or take on your first solo or group project, the better.
Not only will this be a good way to challenge yourself, it will help you get settled in at your new workplace quicker. By jumping into the new role, you’ll feel more like a part of the team and less like the new hire. Plus, if you’re doing something new and challenging, your brain will be focusing on that rather than on thoughts of self doubt or worry.
While the first month in a new role will always have its ups and downs, doing all of these things will help you ensure that the ups come in far greater quantities than the downs. Before you know it, your new job will simply become your job.