When companies make a hire, they want to make sure they’ve made the right decision, leading to new employees undergoing a high level of scrutiny during the probationary period. No matter which stage in your career, starting a new job can be as exciting as it is intimidating.
To ease the anxieties that come with starting a new job, here are 5 actions you can take to have a great first week in your new role.
First Impressions Last
This initial period in your new job can set the tone for how you are going to be perceived by your future colleagues, managers, and the overall work environment. The first week is an opportunity to make a positive impact and establish yourself as a capable and professional team member. Building good relationships, showing enthusiasm, and showcasing your skills and work ethic from the beginning can contribute to a successful start.
Prepare Before your First Day at Work
Before starting your first day, experts recommend doing some research on the company. Check out social media posts to get a feel of the company’s culture. Depending on the role, test the software and tools you’ll be using on a daily basis and look up your colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles.
Note Down all Your Ideas
During your first week on the job, you’ll notice many things you’d like to comment on or fix. It’s recommended to observe the dynamics of your role and write down all ideas that come to mind. Once you have a better understanding of the challenges your department is facing, you could begin to identify projects and ideas that align with your goals. Discuss these ideas with your supervisor or key stakeholders when it comes to suggesting new projects.
Reach Out to your Manager
Before your first day, take the initiative to reach out to your manager via email to check in. You can ask them about the dress code in the office, even if you’re working remotely. Additionally, ask if there is anything specific that would be beneficial for you to know or what to expect. Taking these steps will leave a positive impression, showing your employer that you want to make the best start possible and be productive right from day one.
Plan your commute to arrive on time
Make a plan to arrive early everyday during your first week so you can show up on time if you face any potential commuting delays. When planning your route, take into account traffic jams, or getting lost and finding parking if driving. To ensure a smooth commute, aim to arrive 30-40 minutes earlier than you normally would so you have a buffer of time.
Introduce Yourself to Stakeholders
During your first week, try to identify the key stakeholders of your department and team. You’ll probably have scheduled meetings with each of them as part of your onboarding so they represent great opportunities to get to know what they do and how you could collaborate with them in the future.
Be Proactive in the Workplace
Your first day either on-site or remote should never be a surprise to the rest of the company. The HR team or manager will usually introduce you to the rest of your team and stakeholders as part of your onboarding. But if they don’t, take the initiative to do so yourself. Ask your manager if you can send an email or a message through chat just to say hi.
Admitting you don’t know something and asking for help is completely normal, especially during your first week. Asking questions can even make you appear more confident, as you state what you do know, then what you don’t. This way, your supervisor will see you have the right background for the job role and recognise areas where you might need further support.
Additionally, the company may have questions for you through a new-hire-survey so they can learn from your onboarding experience and improve the process.
Take on Extra Responsibilities
While in some cases as a new starter you may find yourself overwhelmed with work, it can happen the opposite too: not having enough of it. If your supervisor or colleagues have a tight schedule, it’s likely that you’ll be assigned some tasks which represent a great opportunity to gain valuable experience.
This is the time to take on additional tasks and be proactive in finding ways to learn, such as training courses, testing software and tools you’ll be using on a daily basis or expanding your knowledge with relevant reading materials.
Be a Team Player
Position yourself as a helpful team player with a positive attitude and leading by example. By simply being around your new team and observing how everyone works and collaborates, you can have an idea about the company’s culture and team dynamics. This can help you become more engaged with their way of working, boost your interpersonal skills and maintaining strong relations.
Engage in Team Activities
Don’t be afraid of actively participating in team activities. This can be done by volunteering in social events, taking part in a bake sale for a good cause or by joining the Friday after work. By having this initiative, it will show your enthusiasm and commitment to be a part of the company culture.
Employers, including managers, have also a responsibility to ensure that new hires feel welcomed and engaged right from the start, something which can be even more challenging when it comes to remote onboarding.
After your first weeks, many companies provide a 30-day or 90-day evaluation to assess your capabilities during the probationary period and ensure you’re progressing at a good pace. While there’s not a formal evaluation meeting at the end of your first week, take the initiative to discuss with your manager any accomplishments and challenges you faced in your first days.
Take this meeting as an opportunity to discuss improvement with your manager, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on your performance so you are ready to apply it in the next few weeks.
After the First Week
It’s normal to be nervous during your first week at a new job as new challenges will come. By having a positive attitude, celebrating your own achievements and getting feedback from your direct supervisor, you’ll be on the right track to have a successful first week at your new job.
As an employer, if you’d like advice about the onboarding process or discuss your HR recruitment needs, contact our expert team today. Or, if you’re looking for a new job, use our job search function to find your next executive role.