So you’ve just accepted a job offer, you already have an outfit planned for your first day of work, and you are ready to hit the pedal to the metal. Before you start your first day at work, consider these five tips to prepare yourself for this new journey.
1. Always Ask Questions
There is no better time than when you first start your job to ask any and all questions. As a newbie to the company, people usually have no problem showing you the ropes. Not only does asking questions demonstrate your willingness to learn, but it also shows that you want to take initiative in understanding the company’s expectations.
Some example questions you could ask:
- What is everyone’s preferred method of communication (email, Slack, etc.)?
- Who should I report to for a given project?
- When do we take breaks? (At my first job out of college, no one told me this on my first day so I sat quietly at my computer eating my lunch. Don’t be me.)
2. Keep a Work Log/Journal
This might be a time-consuming and tedious task, but keeping a work log or journal does a few things. For one, it can show you how long it takes you to complete a task and can improve your efficiency. A log also helps you see what you learned this week and measure your professional development. Tied to this, you can use your log to update your resume with all the amazing accomplishments you have done over time. Increased website traffic by 20%? Check. Made the largest sale this week? Awesome. Created a new diversity initiative? You’re my inspiration.
3. Come Prepared
Obviously, you should always come to work prepared in general. Doing so takes little effort compared to the big pay-off it sets you up for. For example, let’s say you have a meeting with your manager on Friday. Before that meeting, come with an agenda in mind even if you are not leading the meeting. Maybe you need more clarification on a task you’re working on, or you need to bring up a topic at the end of the meeting that is unrelated. By making the most of your time at work, you increase your productivity and signal to your team that you take the role seriously.
4. Remember Why You Took This Job
While you might be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when you start your new job, you will likely face bad days and annoying circumstances down the line. During times like these, it is important to remember your goals and values, why you took this job, and how this job will propel you to reach your future goals. The ever-impending thoughts about things like the future or our crumbling society might always be in the back of your head, but keep your chin up and remember your roots.
5. Network and Meet New People
You didn’t think I’d write a career-focused article and NOT mention networking, did you? Networking and meeting new people is key for getting to know your team and seeing how you could help each other down the road. As a new employee, many people will want to get to know you and you should take advantage of this! It feels especially easier when you first start a job to explain that you are new to the company and would love to grab a coffee one day to hear about why they choose to be at the company and their passions. Once you understand your coworkers’ interests and needs at the company, you will develop a keen eye on how you can help each other grow and succeed together. Teamwork makes the dream work.
While these are my five tips to consider when you start a new job, there is plenty more advice to be heard. What is your number one tip you’d give to someone on their first day on the job?