On average, you change jobs six times in your career lifetime. And, if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you are going through such a transition right now – congratulations on the new job!
The first month is an important time for new starters, as you learn to bed in and get to grips with your new workplace culture. It’s also important because you’ll be making a lasting impression on your colleagues.
You probably have mixed emotions, a blend of starting a new job anxiety and excitement. With this in mind, we’ve put together six essential actions to take in your first few weeks, to help you settle in as well as get things off on the right foot with your new team.
To set yourself up for success, here’s six essentials to add to your starting a new job checklist:
It doesn’t matter if you’re coming in as a senior manager or admin support, the first 30 days are crucial in familiarising yourself with your new environment. This means a lot of active listening, and asking the right questions. So before you order your new job cards, take the time to take notes, speak to team members and understand the lay of the land.
You won’t be expected to have all the answers and the first weeks are often seen as a grace period. So use it wisely to listen to your fellow colleagues and get to grips with the culture before sharing any big changes, suggestions or observations.
Usually with onboarding process steps, you will have a schedule planned for the first week. This typically involves meeting team members from around the business, as you’re introduced as the new contact. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but remember that first impressions count and business relationships are vital for success.
Your line manager will likely introduce you to all the key stakeholders, but don’t be afraid to ask for any further introductions if you need them.
If you’re scheduling meetings, first start with an email introducing yourself and how you look forward to meeting them in due course. Your manager is best placed to tell you how cross-departmental teams collaborate and some of the best practices in place.
It goes without saying that being organised is key. Attend meetings punctually and enthusiastically. Be confident in introducing yourself and express how you look forward to supporting joint business goals and adding value to the team.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to bedding into a new job. It takes time and understanding of a company’s culture and values. These will come naturally to you in time, but to help you on your journey, be sure to digest the company manual or playbook and definitely the annual report. These are often delivered as part of your onboarding checklist by HR. Additionally, be sure to attend company meetings and strategy planning, where you will get a real feel for company objectives and priorities.
It’s always good to plan ahead and it’s likely that you will want to benchmark your work by setting some objectives and goals. To do this, think about what you’d like to achieve in your first 90 days, and then look to the future and how you plan to level-up your learning and skills as you develop into the role.
While you’re goal setting, think about any quick wins in your first month. Where can you make an immediate contribution to your team, that will be noted and set you on the right path?
Having a mentor is a great way to relieve starting a new job anxiety. Not only does it provide you with a friend and confidante, but they can help you navigate some of the obstacles in those early first days. Simply put, it’s invaluable to have someone established within the business who has your back.
Some businesses will automatically pair you to a ‘buddy’, but this isn’t always a given. In which case, speak to your HR team or line manager about finding a mentor within the organisation to steer you through the first 90 days.
And finally, in your first month in a new job, say yes to that coffee, lunch bite and after-work drink. Building relationships will make work more enjoyable, as well as help you in your day-to-day. So, attend every meeting you’re invited to and show up to every event you can. Consider it an opportunity to network with the wider company, get the lowdown on office politics, and fast-track your onboarding, and soon enough you’ll be part of the woodwork!