When you first walk into a new job it can feel a little bit like walking into a lion’s den. You’re the newbie, all eyes are on you and you don’t really know what to expect, so it’s not uncommon for the fear of the unknown to overcome you.
The important thing is not to panic, take a step back and think about how you’re going to tackle your first week with a few key tips that are sure to set you off on the right foot.
1. Introduce yourself and be polite
You’ll more than likely be introduced to the whole office on your first day but if you’re a couple of days in and there are still some people you haven’t met yet, make an effort to go over and say hello. It can be just as intimidating for people to meet you for the first time as it is for you to meet them, so be courageous and make the first move. This will show you are approachable and you have confidence without being cocky.
It’s also worth making an effort to get to know the people who you will be working with closely. If you’re part of a department or you’re in a team, take the time in your first week to find things out about your colleagues. Sit with them at lunch, find out what their interests are outside of work and speak to them throughout the day to show you are interested in learning more about them. This is also a good opportunity for you to talk about your interests so your colleagues can find out more about you too.
2. Take a notepad and write everything down
You’re going to learn a lot in your first week, particularly on your first day, and it can sometimes be quite daunting. As much as we are now living in a digital age, some traditions are still worth using, so make sure you take a notepad and pen to jot down any important information. Don’t worry about remembering everything all at once, no one is expecting you to, but writing stuff down will make it easier for you to come back to any important points later on.
You might even be asked to do a recap of your first week so having some notes written down will make remembering key points much easier. From these notes you will be able to pinpoint your highlights from the week, things that stood out and who you’ve met so far.
3. Ask lots of questions
Another reason why having a notepad is a good idea is for any questions you might want to ask – and you’ll probably have a lot in your first week!
Starting a new job means you are getting to grips with a new environment, new people, possibly a new culture and work ethic and a new routine, so it’s good to get as many questions answered as possible. Taking the time to understand the company you will now be working for and showing a genuine interest in all areas of the business will demonstrate your desire to learn and you can guarantee that your colleagues will be impressed by this.
4. Set yourself some goals
Depending on the company you work for or the role you are taking on, you might already have in-house targets in which you are expected to meet. But that’s not to say that you can’t set yourself some personal targets too. Starting a new job is the perfect opportunity to get yourself into a good, positive mindframe so get yourself a diary, some post-it notes and anything else you think might be good tools for keeping organised.
Setting yourself some small targets in the beginning will help you develop good work habits and if you’ve struggled with some bad work habits in the past, now is the time to make improvements. After all, the starting as you mean to go on is the key to success.
5. Be humble
There’s nothing wrong with having confidence in your abilities but no one likes a know-it-all. Even if you happen to be the most experienced person in your team, don’t walk into a new job acting like you’re better than anyone else. If someone in the company offers to help you out with something, even if you know what to do, accept the help. You never know, they might show you a different method to what you have been taught or they might show you an easier way to do something that perhaps you didn’t know prior to joining the company.
Showing you are open to guidance will show your colleagues that you are easy to work with and that you are happy to take on other people’s advice. That doesn’t mean you always have to agree but you should take the time to listen to others and treat them in a way that you would like to be treated.
6. Have fun
Although starting a new job can be overwhelming and you probably have a million and one questions spinning around your head, a new job can also mean a new beginning. Remember to treat it as a fresh start, a chance to make new friends, learn new skills and above all, have fun!
This could be the break you needed so don’t be afraid to have a fantastic time, even if you are a little nervous on your first day. You won’t be the new kid on the block for long and before you know it, you will have cemented yourself in place as a true member of the team!