When you’re starting a new job, you want to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. The first few weeks are the best time to make a good first impression on your new boss and coworkers. You want to get the approval of everyone who works there — from the higher-ups to the person working beside you every day.
Here are six things you need to think through when starting a new job:
- Come in Early
Even if you have flexible hours, still make sure you come in early. Studies have shown that employees who come in early were rated higher than the ones who came in later — even if they got the same amount of work done.
Coming in early shows that you’re ready to work and that you possess initiative to make sure you’re there on time and prepared for the workday. Observe the patterns of those around you so you know when they’re arriving and leaving. You don’t want to be the first one there and the last to leave, but think about arriving a bit earlier than most and staying a little later.
Make sure you use any extra time wisely as well. Don’t just ignore everyone — this could be a great opportunity to get to know the people you’ll be working with.
- Get to Know Your Colleagues
Meeting new people can be nerve-wracking, but you definitely want to think about getting to know the people you’re going to be seeing and working beside every single day. Getting to know your coworkers isn’t just beneficial for the work environment — it’s good for your own well being, too.
Becoming friends with the people you work with can make the whole day more enjoyable. It’s nice to have people to share stories from the weekend with or to discuss the latest episode of your favorite show with. If you aren’t someone who has a lot of friends or you’ve moved to a new location for this job, this is a good place to find people to hang out with after work, too.
The bottom line, though, is taking time to talk and get to know your colleagues makes the workday more enjoyable for everyone. It’s nice to be able to work with people who are pleasant and willing to hold a conversation with you.
- Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sure, they’ll give you the standard information before you start and on your first day, but there’s sure to be something else you’ll want to know. You don’t want to ask too many personal questions, though, like about pay and vacation. Ask questions that show you’re invested in the job and the company.
Ask about how you should communicate with your direct supervisor, the parts of the job you should master in your first few weeks and the procedures you should definitely have a firm grasp on. Make sure you also know about the hazards of your job and how to handle them if they happen. If your new job is in an office, the hazards will be different than – say – a construction worker, who may risk things like concussions or even loss of limb. You want to be prepared for anything.
Your employer will like that you ask questions and want to ensure you’re ready to do the job they want you to do. Just spread your questions out a bit and don’t ask them all at once if you have a lot.
- Plan Ahead
Putting your best foot forward also involves you looking and feeling your best. You’re probably going to be a bit nervous, but try to make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before your first day. You want to feel refreshed and ready to go. You also don’t want bags under your eyes and an exhausted look.
Plan what you’re going to wear ahead of time as well if you don’t have a uniform. It may not seem important to you, but you want to be certain you’re both comfortable and presentable. An uncomfortable outfit can be distracting, and you also want to make sure you look the part on your first day.
- Volunteer for That “Special Task”
If there’s something that needs done that no one else seems willing to do, jump on it. Make sure you won’t be too overwhelmed, but take it on if you have the time and can put your all into it.
Starting out, you need to demonstrate you’re willing to do what it takes for the company. You’re also the low one on the totem pole, so you can’t really argue that a task is beneath you. Plus, volunteering for extra projects is definitely going to make you look good.
- Learn The Company Culture
Every company has a culture. There are codes of conduct that aren’t in the handbook they gave you, and they’re something you’ll need to learn if you want to fit in.
Observe the people around you and the things they do — and the things they don’t. Look at the relationships between various levels of workers and how they interact with each other. See if you can find people who started in your position and if they’ve stayed with the company or if there’s a high turnover rate.
Also talk with people and see how their experiences in the company have been. You don’t want to look like you’re digging for info, but it’s natural to be curious about this new environment you’re in.
Starting a new job can make you pretty nervous, but think things through so you can handle the first few weeks with ease. You’ll stop being the new guy — or new girl — before you know it!