Getting a new job is both scary and amazing. You get to work in a new environment, meet new people, and learn new skills. There are lots of new opportunities to explore.
Yet, at the same time, you have to follow rules you know nothing about, adhere to a dress code, pick up on acceptable behaviors, and learn the lingo. And all of that can be kind of difficult if you don’t do some prep. Yeah. Much of your success at a job rides on you.
But what kind of prep should you do? Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Don’t worry. We’ve made a list of the five most important things you should do when starting a new job. Let’s get into it.
1. Don’t Presume Anything
Lots of employees try to involve themselves in work matters that are none of their business or do things as they used to at their previous job. Don’t do this.
The office you worked in before probably had different work practices than the one you work in now. So, chirping up that you know how to do something when your colleagues do it in a different way can make you look bad.
Plus, because work environments are tangled webs of cliques, gossip, and frenemies, you potentially doom yourself for the rest of your stay.
So, when someone asks you if you already know something, you should ask them instead to show you what they’re talking about to get the whole picture. If they’re showing you something you know, explain that you’re familiar with it but would like to know more about how your new company uses that practice.
However, if you don’t know what your colleague or supervisor is talking about, tell them so instead of trying to show how smart you are by figuring it out on the fly.
2. Ask Lots Of Questions
Most new hires have a learning curve to navigate, so it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by everything you need to learn.
Questions allow you to get the lay of the land and get clarity when you need it. So, if you’re confused about why the account is manually calculating expenses, ask them why they aren’t using a perfectly serviceable paystub generator.
Besides, it’s better to get all the information on hand before you start doing something. That way, you’ll have a higher chance of handling things correctly.
Plus, asking questions shows the initiative to learn. That’ll create a good impression on your colleagues and managers. But don’t go too fast. Ask questions about things that confuse you or those you want to know more about.
Don’t question everything. That’s a great way to get on the manager’s bad side. So, do your own research and learn about your position and the organization before commenting on or making suggestions because doing so beforehand can make you seem argumentative or condescending.
3. Learn As Much As You Can
Your first month on the job is probably the easiest month of your entire time with your company. Why? Because you’re being shown the ropes; as a result, your managers and colleagues don’t expect you to do everything perfectly.
However, instead of using all that downtime to make friends and go on hour-long lunch meetings, learn as much as you can while networking. That means attending any and every department meeting you can, reading your company’s annual report, and learning about common workplace issues.
Your research will help you when you get into the heat of the position and start to get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day. So, develop daily habits that’ll help you maintain a growth mindset.
4. Understand Your Performance Metrics
Your performance metrics are what your boss is measuring your performance against. Common performance metrics include:
- Number of errors/product defect
- Net promoter score (NPS)
- Forced ranking
- Number of sales
- Number of units produced
- Handling time
- Revenue per employee
- Human capital ROI
- Absenteeism rate
- Overtime per employee
However, most jobs have specific metrics. For instance, a copywriting job might make word count a metric, while a programming job may do the same for lines of code.
Similarly, if communication is a metric in your office, it’s better to veer on the “over” side of it. Why? Because even a slight delay in communication can throw off your performance scores and leave you without benefits.
5. Focus On Relationships
Learning what you need to do on the job is important, but you can’t do that if you lack office corners and never talk to anyone. So, when you start your new job, be intentional about getting to know the people in your team or department so you can start building solid relationships.
However, you won’t spontaneously make relationships. You have to put the work in. So, take a few minutes of your day every day to chat with your teammates and grab coffee or lunch. You could even start a book club or go to a bar after work to strengthen a relationship.
The Bottom Line
The hard part of getting a job process is over. Now all that’s left is making your best first impression and living up to it. Just don’t do it too fast. Try to take it one day at a time. That’ll increase your chances of getting things right while growing in your position.