Career Resources

Career Resources

Starting a New Job? These 8 Tips Will Help You Succeed

Posted August 28, 2014 & filed under Job Search, Salary

Starting a New Job? These 8 Tips Will Help You Succeed

Starting a new job can be nerve-racking. Your resume and interview got you hired, but will that good impression last? Will your employer want you around after week one?

You can control that. Like a firewalker crossing a field of smoldering coals, a new employee needs to move confidently with calculated steps. These eight tips can save you from getting burned on the first day at a new job.

1.) Show Up 15 Minutes Early – At the beginning of a new job, you have zero attendance record established. There is no positive history to excuse a slow start or a traffic delay. A late arrival on your first day implies tardiness is one of your character flaws.

Arrive 15 minutes early when starting a new job. In fact, keep it up for as long as you can. That way, if you have a fluke instance of lateness, it doesn’t seem like par for the course; it’s just an odd anomaly.

2.) Have the Right Documentation – It’s always good to have HR in your corner. When starting a new job, find out what paperwork you’ll need to complete. Fill out any documents you can in advance, collect all other required documents and ID cards, and place them in a place you won’t forget.

You’ll continue to give the impression that you’re ready for anything. Plus, it’ll help you to immediately jump into orientation and your first projects.

3.) Dress the Part – The interview dress code and work place dress code are usually different. You give the impression that you don’t take the position seriously if you enter the office overdressed or completely underdressed. Ask about the dress code in advance.

4.) Bring Something to Spruce up Your Work Space – Be it a cacti or a bobble-head, a Dilbert calendar or a picture of your kids, bring at least one item on your first day at a new job. It adds character to your workspace. Plus, it gives a sense of longevity when an employee brings things into an office.

However, don’t get out of control. Often, you don’t know what your workspace will look like until your first day. Take it easy and bring something small that can fit anywhere.

5.) Bring Food but Be Ready to Dine Out – Is there a cafeteria in the building? Is there fast food nearby? It’s always better to brownbag it when starting a new job. However, bring something nonperishable. That way, you can go out to lunch if asked. Longer interactions build greater bonds than brief exchanges throughout the day.

6.) Memorize Names – New names are important when starting a new job. Your boss and immediate coworkers are obviously important, but so is anyone else you meet. Administrators, HR representatives, and people in other departments can help you in immeasurable ways. Especially if you take the effort to know them early on.

Mnemonic devices are key here. Yeah, they sound goofy but they increase memory considerably (who doesn’t remember H.O.M.E.S or ROY G BIV?). Rhyming schemes (i.e. Bryce seems to be a nice guy or Cheryl wears tidy work apparel), mental images (imagining the person wearing a nametag with their name on it), and repetition can help you to make those connections early on.

7.) Take Notes – On your first day, you should always bring your own pen and notepad. Even though supplies are stocked around the office, you can never seem prepared enough.

Whether it’s a mental note or a physical note, you need to absorb as much information as you can from the start. Your boss doesn’t expect you to know everything when starting your new job. However, you’ll definitely impress them if you can acclimate to the role right from the starting gun.

8.) Think about Your 90 Day Plan – Anything worth doing is worth doing well. You want to show your excellence from the start. Presidents are measured in 90 days and numerous companies have 90 day reviews too. Measure your own achievements in that window.

Your goal should be to immediately address one of the major problems facing the company. It doesn’t matter if you overcome it immediately, but you need to show your vision is aligned with that of the company from the start.

by James Walsh

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