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Ten Tips for Starting a New Job

You got the job! Congratulations! After weeks (or months) of looking, you landed a coveted position. The hard work is over, right? Not so fast. While getting the job is a major accomplishment, you still need to start out on the right foot. Here are ten tips for starting a new job:

1. Catch the worm

If you’re working onsite, plan on arriving 10-15 minutes before your workday starts, including parking, walking and elevator time, etc. Practice the drive during your typical commuting hour. Twenty minutes door to door on a Sunday afternoon may turn into two hours on a Monday morning.

And even if you’re working from home, an early start is still critical. Please don’t roll out of bed and immediately start checking your emails. Try to get at least an hour or so before the workday begins That way you’re situated and ready to head the ground running. Overtime, you can establish a pre-workday routine too.

2. Up the ante on the dress code

There’s some evidence that suggests how we dress when working from home affects our productivity. Though it can be tempting to cozy up in sweats, it’s important to put some effort into your dress when you’re remote and new. That said, we all know we need a hoodie day every now and then.

But let’s say you’re in the office? Is the dress code suits and ties, jeans, or in between? Adhere to it, and even take it up a notch. It’s better to dress up than to dress down. If jeans are the norm, go for khakis on the first day. If it is business casual, wear a button-down shirt instead of a polo.

3. Know your boss

Who will be your supervisor on your first day? You may have interviewed with the hiring manager, but she may not be supervising you. Get contact information ahead of time. Also, find out what the protocol will be for checking in that morning. Do you ask at the front desk or go up to the correct floor? This may seem insignificant, but these kinds of details will save time and eliminate confusion.

4. Have a direct line to your supervisor

Have a direct line for contacting your manager in case of any problems. Either a phone number, Slack or Teams chat will do. If there is a traffic accident, severe weather, or simply internet problems, let your know manager directly. They will certainly appreciate it.

5. Your recruiter is your friend

If your new job is a contract position, have your recruiter’s number on hand. Give him or her a call if you if there’s a problem on the job. Not only are recruiters like co-supervisors, they are also your ally! They can run interference for you or help solve any issues at work.

6. Listen to processes and procedures

You want to slip into your new role seamlessly and be independent as soon as possible. Listen closely to directions and pay attention to the company’s procedures. You may think you have a better way to do things, but it’s day one. This is crucial if you’re working from home. Follow along and learn.

7. Take notes!

Starting a new job is overwhelming—a new place, people and technology. You won’t be able to remember everything, so write it down! You’ll want to refer to your notes if you have questions. Waiting to ask your manager or another employee could negatively impact your performance.

8. Buddy up

Nowadays it can be tough to get to know your coworkers in a remote environment. Set up informal meetings or coffee breaks via Zoom or Teams to establish those connections. We all know it’s much easier to make friends onsite, but try to keep chit chat to a minimum in the early weeks. If the job goes well, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know your fellow employees.

9. Take a break from Social Media

During the workday is not the time to update your personal social media. (“I’m sitting at my desk at my new job!”). You should also avoid Twitter, Instagram, reading celebrity gossip sites, or checking your Fantasy Football standings.

10. Check-in

At the end of the week, connect with your manager to review your performance. Is there anything you missed? Do you have questions about internal processes and procedures? Did you dress okay? Is there anything else you can do to make your manager’s life easier? This feedback will only help your performance. Make sure you share this feedback with your recruiter if you are on a contract position.

By following these ten tips for starting a new job, you can guarantee that your first day—and the weeks that follow—will be a success!

Photo credit: Canva

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