New Job? Do these 5 things first!

new employee

New Job, New Start!

The first week in a new job sets the tone for your entire time in the role.   Whether in a new company or a new department, building a strong foundation right from the start means more success later. Take the time to get these 5 things right at the beginning. You’ll thank yourself later.

Tackle the basics

Systems, processes and administrative requirements are the bane of corporate life.  Joining a new company means establishing yourself in their systems. Set up your email signature, order business cards, register your bank account for direct payments and register for benefits. Do it before the work piles up.  Ask for the company onboarding plan on day one, then work through all the steps.

Connect with your boss

When you start a new job your boss is your number one fan; she hired you and wants you to succeed. Meet with her in your first 2-3 days. Agree on your time to transition fully into the role. Ask her to identify the most important processes and meetings and your most important contacts.  Agree on goals for your first 30/60/90 days. Figure out how to work effectively with your boss and the rest of the team. Meet the team’s administrative professional and your manager’s personal assistant. They will be among your most important contacts.

Meet your key partners

A good onboarding plan includes key contacts. Meet them all face to face if possible; if not, use video conferencing. Do this even if you know them from a previous role; your new job may require new kinds of cooperation. Find out exactly how your roles will overlap, what you need from them, and what they expect from you.  Office allies are critical to your success; start building alliances from day 1.

Establish your routine

I call this ‘training the company.’ If you’re on salary, you can always work long hours and sacrifice your personal life.  Don’t get sucked in! Set boundaries on when you are available, and how quickly you will reply. If you are the sort of person who checks email only twice a day, stick to that from the beginning. People will adjust to any reasonable routine. Now is your chance to make one that works for you!

Ask questions

Questions help you understand expectations and office culture. Ask what new abbreviations mean. Ask your colleagues about themselves and their work. Showing curiosity and openness is the first step in building alliances and relationships. The answers help you create a picture of your life in your new job.

At the end of the first week, sit back and acknowledge your accomplishments. You’ll have a strong start on good relationships with your boss and co-workers, will have taken care of most of the administrative bits, and you’ll have begun establishing a routine in your new job that fits your life.  Before you know it, you’ll be sailing smoothly along!

Marne Platt

Dr. Marne Platt is the President of Fundamental Capabilities and the author of 3 books (so far): Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way; Professional Presence; and PREP For Success. Originally a practicing veterinarian, she built a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. She founded Fundamental Capabilities to ‘pay it forward’ by providing career development workshops and coaching for women. ‘Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way’ is an ‘older sister in your pocket’ packed full of advice for young women on building their own independent and exciting life. 'Professional Presence' and PREP For Success' help you strengthen your spoken and unspoken communication and leadership presence.

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