I Got the Job – Now What? 7 Things to do When You Start Your New Job
After all the hard work and effort, you finely landed the job. The anxiety about what’s going to happen next is gone and you’re relieved that you can stop updating your resume. Now that you have a job and you’re about to start next Monday, you’re starting to feel the sheer terror of what you have just gotten yourself into. You’re questioning your ability, their stability, their likeability and every kind of “ility” there is. You are feeling like a deer in head lights. OH MY GOSH! What are you going to do now?
Stay calm, there’s a reason you’re feeling like this and there are things you can do to get you started out on the right foot.
As with every significant change in our life, when we are right there ready to make the change, we begin a transition. With change comes transition, our own emotional adjustment to going from where we’ve been to where we’re headed. When we are in transition we can harbor mixed emotions ranging from happiness to fear that all happily co-exist inside us. We can be happy to get the job and have anxiety about our ability to do it or what the future might hold. In other words, it’s natural to have some reactions to the news, ” you’ve been hired.” You can use those reactions to fuel your first few weeks on the new job.
As you are entering the new job, here are seven things to do immediately.
1. Set up a meeting with your new boss. You will want to hear your boss tell you again about your job. You want to know:
a. the responsibilities
b. the performance expectations
c. standards (like indicators to help you know what you are shooting for)
d. who your primary contact points are and why
e. events, like status report due dates and department meetings
Your new boss may not tell you all these thing, as that may be delegated to other people as part of your training, but you need to know this information soon and often until you have it memorized.
2. Set up a meeting with all the key players. This should include the admin or secretary that supports your boss. This person will know everything and everyone. Creating a close relationship with this person will prove helpful over the long haul. You will want to understand what function each person performs and how your role interacts with them. You need to make sure that you find out from them any details about how your work needs to be done to set them up for success.
3. Get familiar with your surroundings. Look all over the place. Locate the copier and the fax machine. Look for office supplies and good things, like the bathroom. These are things most people take for granted, but a new person isn’t going to know. On my first day at one of my jobs, everyone left the floor at lunch time. I had no idea where to find the place to eat or even what the food situation was. Knowing these types of things will help you feel comfortable in your new surroundings.
4. Drill down on your job. Most jobs will have equipment, like computers and paperwork, that you will need as part of your job. Accumulate everything that anyone thinks is part of your job and study what you have. Create a “sample” copy of things for you to write your notes on. Familiarize yourself with each element and track the origins of things so you will know where or how they are produced. Pull out previously completed work and study what has been produced before you arrived. As you do this, it will generate questions for which you can seek out others to help give you answers and insight.
5. Observe. As with any group of people, there are politics and culture to consider. Before you step on a metaphorical land mine, you want to come in as an observer to the organization you are now part of. You need to understand the informal leadership, the influencers and problems. All new people are automatically given a state of grace for their ignorance during that period. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and be watchful. It will be your knowledge of the culture, your personality and how you do your job that will set the bar for how well you integrate. Integration into the culture may be a strong indicator of your future success and career growth.
6. Ask for feedback and ask it early and often. As you are starting to produce work, seek out your boss or other key players for their feedback on your work. Just like integration into the group, your work also has a grace period. You want to use your grace period as a window to learn by doing and adjusting until you are producing at or above the expectations. You won’t know unless you ask.
7. Have fun. You don’t want to establish yourself as the class clown, but you are in this new job to enjoy. Lighten up on yourself, laugh at your mistakes and tackle the hard stuff with a great attitude.
All businesses have an unspoken “ramp up time” whether it is 1 week or 2 months. You want to use that time to become a fully functioning part of the team, both by the work you produce and how you have integrated with the group. With a little thinking as you are starting, you can assure yourself of success.
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