Starting a new job is exciting but a bit scary for sure! Whether you are straight out of college or have 20 years of experience in the industry, adapting to a new space with new people is hard. Human beings are conditioned to follow a certain routine and our job is one of the biggest elements of our routine. So, when this element changes, our entire routine is disrupted which could cause anxiety, stress, or mood swings. That said, a change of routine can also be a motivational factor making the person more energetic and motivated.
Now, you need to decide how well you are going to take your job switch or job start. There could be numerous hurdles in adjusting to a new environment like,
- New colleagues
- Change of location of the workplace, timing, etc.
- New rules and regulations of the company
- Different working culture
However, while it’s the company’s job to help you learn about the office culture, much of your success at a new job ride on you. Below are seven tips to help you succeed at your new job the right way from day one.
Interact with your Colleagues: It is said that the first impression is the last impression. It may not be entirely true but some part of it is true. On the first day, entering your office with energy in your steps, curiosity in your mind and a smile on your face will surely create a positive impact on your colleagues. You should use every interaction to prove that you’re a respectful, professional, and diligent worker, and also that you’re someone who your colleagues will enjoy spending eight hours a day with. This will showcase your personal brand and help you settle in the company.
Set healthy boundaries early on: This step might be uncomfortable for a few but it’s one of the most important ones. When you set healthy boundaries, you are clarifying what is acceptable and unacceptable to you about how late you’re willing to work, the total number of hours you’re willing to work, what kind of work you are willing to do, and how personal you’re willing to allow your work relationships to be. Once you set the example that you’re willing to do certain things, it’s hard to go back. For example, if your manager sends you emails over the weekend, and you respond to them immediately, then you may unknowingly set the expectation that you will always be available to work on weekends.
Learn time management skills at work from start: Starting a new job in the corporate world could sometimes become overwhelming due to the heavy load of work and projects along with taking care of personal needs and adjusting to a new environment. You need to learn time management right from starting to set your impression in the office. Some common time management techniques include setting priorities, maintaining lists of items to be addressed daily, and scheduling blocks of time to address certain items.
Figure out how you are going to be assessed: You will have limited time with you, and you might as well want to focus your efforts on activities that have a direct impact on your assigned goals. Many a time, what is mentioned in the goal sheets or appraisal forms may not be the priority of the organization and you wouldn’t want to realize it after one year. Some organizations want to get things done somehow, and ones that are clear about “how” they should be done. You would need to understand this by keeping your eyes open to what gets rewarded and what gets penalized. Schedule a discussion with your manager within a month of joining and connect with senior colleagues to ensure that you have got your priorities right.
Learn to Say “No” in your new job: It’s the most difficult and the most important skill. If you’re constantly being asked to do items that are not within your work scope, you may need to find a way to politely say “no” to these items. Helping someone out at work is one thing, but don’t allow yourself to be taken for granted, and get overwhelmed or stressed by such requests. If you are asked to complete a project or do a task, you can share your current obligations and then negotiate the completion due date. You are essentially saying “yes,” while also managing expectations. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your manager to help you set priorities if you find the requests piling up.
Take Initiative: Initiative is what sets an individual apart from the crowd and makes him/her a leader. There is no perfect place or process and with your fresh eyes and ears, you will be able to bring improvements in many places. Do your research first, propose the changes with benefits and run with it once you get a nod. The best of your learning takes place when you take up projects/responsibilities that you are not fully sure about.
Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions to managers or senior team members to gain the clarity that you need. It’s better to get the information to handle things correctly vs. learning the hard way that you’re doing something incorrectly. No one expects you to be a pro when you are new to a job, and no one expects you to know everything about the organization right away, either. Chances are that others have similar questions like yours, and hence don’t be afraid to ask. At the same time, do your research first before asking. In a Google era, you are supposed to get the information that you want and ask questions that are beyond what Google can give you.
We all need a little help sometimes, but with these tips, you’re sure to start your new job on the right foot.