Starting a new job is possibly one of the most daunting things you can do. You’ll have the most basic of questions coupled with an overwhelming need to prove yourself. Couple that with feeling like the new girl at school, and you’re potentially in for a tough few weeks until you settle into a routine. I’m about to start week three of my new job, and so far, so good. Work/life balance seems in check and the people are super friendly.
1// Ask the simple questions.
To survive and thrive in your new workplace, you’re going to need to know really basic stuff – where is the bathroom? Where is the best place to get coffee? Who do I talk to about payroll and superannuation? How do I book a meeting room? Get on top of this stuff early, to save a whole lot of hassle later on.
2// Observe your boss.
You can learn so much by simply observing your manager. How does she/he approach their day? Do they have any pet hates? How do they interact with everyone else in the office? What time do they get in of a morning? What time do they leave? Making a mental note of each of these things is sure to help out down the track. It’s not about sucking up, but instead it’s about making the most efficient use of your time with he/she, and understanding how best to approach them. No doubt they are an incredibly busy person, so establishing that trust and rapport early on is going to make both of your lives a million times easier, especially when you know that the best time to ask for those two weeks off is on Friday at 2pm.
3// Be friendly to everyone you come into contact with.
You never know who someone could turn out to be. Becoming friendly with the receptionist and IT guy, and being warm and courteous to everyone you meet is a fast track to getting what you need, when you need it. The random in the foyer on Wednesday morning could be your major client, or a new business prospect. Not only is being friendly a way to get what you need, you’ll also build friendships in the office.
4// Dress on the conservative side.
At least to start with. Remember, you’re aiming to show that you’re capable and have sound judgement. Look to how those above you dress. While you don’t need to dress in exactly the same way (nor should you – twinning with your boss is just awkward), it’s an easy way to show that you take your new role seriously and want to succeed.
5// Every little bit helps.
There’s a great anecdote about JFK (I think) going to visit NASA, and approaching a guy who was mopping a floor. The President asked what he did at NASA, and the guy responded that he was helping to put a man on the moon. So you’re super junior in your company – who cares? You’re there to do a job, so do it. You don’t know where it’s going to lead, the contacts you could make or exactly how much you’re going to learn. Remember that even taking on that seemingly tiny task is helping someone, somewhere along the line. Do the small things with grace and the big things will follow.
Any other tips for starting a new job? x