You’ve perfected your CV, attended interviews, handed your resignation in and now it’s finally time to start your new job. Starting a new job can be daunting, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a recent graduate, entering into a new environment always comes with some nerves! If you want to make a good impression from the start and avoid making common mistakes, here are 8 top tips for starting a new position.
1. Be punctual and presentable
This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s sometimes overlooked. You may have the job but it’s important to continue making good first impressions. You should always aim to be on time or even better early, and not just on your first day. Plan your journey to work and ensure you set off with time to spare. It’s also important to look presentable, find out before you start what the company’s dress code is, you could ask your new manager or the recruiter who hired you what employees usually wear – they’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.
2. Start building a network
It’s natural to feel nervous when introducing yourself to someone new, but within the first week of starting your new job you should introduce yourself to your new colleagues. Be friendly and polite and set up good working relationships from the start. Find a timing that feels right to approach someone new and give them a quick energetic introduction.
However, if this is something you struggle with; don’t be afraid to enlist the help of others. Your manager or colleagues can help provide an introduction to new people.
After making introductions, you can begin to recognise who the important people are in your new workplace and begin to network accordingly. Having strong professional relationships will pay dividends throughout your career in the form of advice and assistance.
Are you bad with remembering names? Write them down! You’ll meet a lot of people in your first week and you’re unlikely to remember them all straight away. You may also have access to a company intranet with a people directory, if so, don’t forget to use it. A people directory can aid you in recognising who’s who and the sooner you understand this the easier your adjustment will be.
Lastly, when you’re making new contacts, avoid getting involved in any office politics. At this stage, you’re a newcomer and should act like a guest. There’s always time later to befriend the veterans who can help you decode ‘how things work’.
3. Don't be afraid to ask questions
Generally, new employees that ask questions perform better than those who don’t. When you start, you need to ensure you have a full grasp of what’s expected of you and that your job description is clear. If you haven’t got a job description, then request one, and if this still isn’t forthcoming, then draft your own and send it to your manager for approval.
If you need assistance, don’t be afraid to ask. Although you may want to make an impact straight away, there’s a lot to learn when you start a new job and you can’t be expected to know everything as soon as you start. Asking questions shows that you are interested and willing to learn.
4. Develop a 30/60/90 day plan and be realistic
It’s important to set yourself goals for the first three months of your new role. Sometimes, your employer will help you do this as part of your probation period. If not, set them yourself as this will help you keep track of what you want to achieve. However, expect this to be malleable as you start to develop a clearer picture of your new role - as priorities change you may not always reach the goals you set, or the goals may need to adapt to changing circumstances.
You should also ensure your goals are realistic and achievable. Focus on what you know you can do well, set boundaries and don’t take on everything – you don’t want to overburden yourself.
5. Document your successes
After you’ve been in the role for a while, you’re likely to forget the smaller day-to-day achievements so it’s essential to document your successes from the beginning. Having a record of achievements is useful for future review meetings (or even if you decide to look for a new role all together) and will also serve to boost your own confidence that you’re performing well (or tell you if you need to improve!).
6. Have regular catch-ups with your manager
Requesting regular meetings to check on your progress ensures you’re on the right lines and that you’re learning the ropes in-line with the company’s expectations. Catch-ups are also a great time to strengthen your relationship with your manager, share insights and concerns and discuss goals you want to achieve in the future.
7. Don't rush change
Everyone wants to get past the ‘new’ stage of starting a job and begin making an impact, but it’s vital you take adequate time to adjust and understand the company’s current way of doing things – it might not make sense at first but there may be good reasons for their processes. If you have identified areas that could be improved, ensure you take a measured approach to delivering adjustments. Sometimes, initiating big changes too quickly can alienate your colleagues and in the worst cases offend people.
8. Finally, relax!
Chances are everyone around you has been through this (some many times). Your manager and colleagues will understand how nerve-wracking those first few days can be - no one is judging you so focus on learning, communicating, and most importantly, enjoying the experience.
Recruitment expertise from NES
Are you still looking for your perfect role? NES Global Talent offers recruitment expertise from discipline-specific consultants that truly know their markets. Our consultants can support you in making that next step in your career by helping you to secure your next technical job. You can read more about our candidate support services here. Alternatively, for more advice from our experts, listen to our career advice podcast.