Starting a new job can be intimidating. Now that the interview and hiring process is over, the time has come to begin navigating through the many people and departments you’ll be dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Everyone knows that first impressions are important, and a lot of first impressions are made in your first few weeks at a new company. Here are some tips you should try when navigating the uncharted waters of a new job.
Build the Reputation You Want From Day One
As you probably already know, first impressions are lasting impressions. It is important to establish a positive presence from your very first day. This means thinking about what reputation you’d like to project and developing it from the first minute in the office onward.
Listen to What Everyone Has to Say
A lot of information gets thrown at new employees in the first few days or weeks of a new job. It is important to absorb as much information as possible, even if some of it seems repetitive.
It’s also worth noting that some new employees think they only need to listen to their boss or the people in their department — this simply isn’t true. Sparking up conversations in the break room, parking lot, etc. is a great way to gain a better perspective of the company as a whole. Understanding the inner workings of a company is very useful for long-term career prospects.
Take Every Opportunity to Ask Questions
In addition to listening, new employees should also ask questions whenever possible. A year into a job, asking questions might be met with sideways glances. However, new employees are expected to ask lots of questions — after all, they’ve just started! It is important to take advantage of this “grace period” by asking as many questions as you want. Not only does this help build an understanding of the company and how to do the job, but it also helps start conversations and build relationships with your co-workers.
Build Professional Relationships With Everyone
You never know who might be a useful business contact some time down the line. Therefore, take every opportunity to initiate professional relationships with everyone in the office. This is a great way to build a long-term professional network, and being the “new” guy or girl is a unique opportunity.
Avoid Office Gossip (But Keep Your Ear to the Ground)
Office gossip is inevitable. Sooner or later everyone hears something. The key for new employees is to avoid engaging in gossip and “taking sides,” since it’s impossible to know who shares information with others. That being said, if office gossip is going on within earshot, there’s nothing wrong with keeping an ear on it.
Keep an Eye on Your Long-Term Goals
It’s easy to become consumed with the day-to-day workings at a new job. However, it’s important to keep everything in perspective. Always maintain an understanding of the job and how it relates to your long-term career goals. Make sure that any job you take meets or exceeds your expectations, and is a specific step in your long-term career goals. Starting a new job can be intimidating, but with preparation and the right mindset, it can be a powerful opportunity to bolster your career.