Start Strong on Your New Job

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You’re starting new job, and you want to start strong. Your first few days will set expectations (hopefully positive!) of what everyone can look forward to, so you want to make sure you’re presenting the best version of you possible. Here are a few tips:

1. Are you bad with names? Do as much research as you can about the people in your department. LinkedIn might be very helpful for this. You also might want to ask human resources or the receptionist for your department. I know it helps me considerably when I see names in advance and then I’m simply connecting them to faces when actually meeting people.

2. What were people wearing when you interviewed? Your peers? Those above you? Below you? Dress to fit where you want to go in the company, with the caveat of not overdoing it so you don’t alienate your peers.

3. Do you know what they expect of you? By “they” I mean your boss, as well as your coworkers and those you are supervising. Meet with your new boss to create a structure for yourself so you have a clear sense of what to do for the first couple of weeks until you settle in.

Also meet with those you supervise to make sure you understand what they do. Resist the urge to change things until you learn more about current systems and operations.

4. What were your problems in your previous jobs? Be brutally honest with yourself about why those around you (at every level) may or may not have liked you, have liked working with you, etc.

If possible, have an exit interview with your former employer and coworkers and be sure to read between the lines in the feedback they give. If even one person, for example, has the guts to tell you that you can be a bit short-tempered, rest assured many others think it, too. Your new job is a fresh start and a chance to break bad habits.

Think about the problems that you’ve had with others, too, such as disliking overly authoritative bosses. You might be contributing to the problem if, for example, you don’t like authority figures. Or maybe you don’t seem to get along well with your coworkers because they always annoy you by not working hard enough. You might be sharing in the problem, and now is a good time to stop the behaviors and attitudes that get in the way of your success.

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5. What does everyone at your new job think about how you’re doing? Be sure to ask for feedback after your first week so you can adjust accordingly. If you let everyone know you’re asking so you can help them, they are more likely to take the time to give you feedback. Your success isn’t necessarily a top priority for them, but having an easier time of their own job is.

Have you started a new job recently? What did you do to ensure your success?