The first few weeks of a new job are crucial for setting yourself up for success. This is the time when you are getting to know your new colleagues, learning the ropes of the job, and making a good impression.
The habits you form in those early days will set the tone for your time at the company. In these first days, it’s important to take the time to lay a solid foundation for a successful tenure.
7 Ways to Succeed in Your New Job
So what can you do in your first weeks to establish good habits and set the right tone? Here are seven tips.
1. Get to know your colleagues.
Starting a new job can be a bit awkward at first. You may not be quite sure where you fit in or where to even begin making workplace friends. However, it’s important to take the time to get to know your colleagues. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them!
Start by introducing yourself to your coworkers, particularly those on your team. Learn a little about your colleagues and their roles at the company. Of course, always be friendly and open when you’re interacting with people at work. If you make an effort to be approachable, people will be more likely to want to get to know you.
A good way to get to know your team beyond small talk is to periodically schedule lunch or coffee breaks with different people. This gives you a chance to chat and get to know each other in a relaxed setting. You can also join company-sponsored social events, such as after-work happy hours or sports leagues. These provide great opportunities to bond with your co-workers outside of the office.
If your job is remote, bonding with others may be a little more difficult. Find out from your coworkers or People team the different ways that your company team builds and bonds. This can look like anything from interest-specific Slack channels to virtual meet-ups and game nights. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to join in!
2. Learn the company culture.
Another way to set yourself up for success at your new job is to learn the company culture. This will help you feel like a part of the team and will make it easier to adjust to your new workplace.
This means finding out everything you can about the company’s values, mission, and goals. It also means understanding the company’s dress code, work hours, and expectations for employee behavior.
Expert words of advice
It’s important to recognize the working norms that you’re coming from, and how they may differ from the norms of the new company that you’ve just joined. Recognize that you might be making assumptions.
For example, if your past company was fast-paced in terms of communication, you might have an expectation that you’ll hear back from someone within the hour, or that a response is needed from you immediately. In these cases, you could ask your manager or teammate what the norm is. Would people appreciate a written acknowledgement, even if the answer is incomplete? Or would they favor a complete response even if it takes a little longer?
Know that you’re coming into this new role not as a blank slate, but with your own tendencies, shaped by work experiences you’ve had in the past.”
—Jessica Wan, Executive Coach
3. Set up your workspace
Another important way to set yourself up for success at your new job is to set up your workspace. This means organizing your desk, setting up your computer, and making sure you have all of the supplies you need. Having a well-organized workspace will help you feel more productive and will make it easier to find things when you need them.
4. Familiarize yourself with the company’s products, services, and industry
Get to know the ins and outs of your company’s products, services, and industry. No matter your role, understanding what your company does and how it does it will help you succeed. Having a pulse on industry news and trends means you’ll always be on top of the latest best practices, tools, events, and ideas in your company’s sphere.
5. Understand the company’s structure
In order to be successful at your new job, it is also important that you understand the company’s structure. This means knowing who reports to whom and understanding the chain of command. Understanding the company’s structure will help you know who to go to with questions or concerns and will help you understand how decisions are made within the company.
6. Add value early on
Make a good first impression from the get-go by finding ways to add value in your first weeks, even if small. Some ways to do this include:
- Contribute to conversations and brainstorming
- Use your strengths to find and fill gaps
- Take initiative to solve problems
Adding value is one of the best ways to show your employer that they made the right decision by hiring you.
7. Be patient
Starting a new job can be overwhelming, so it is important to be patient with yourself as you adjust to your new role. Give yourself time to learn the ropes and settle into your new routine. If you find yourself struggling, reach out to your colleagues or supervisor for help or guidance.
The bottom line
Early success in a new job is important for long term development and opportunities. By taking some time to get to know your colleagues, learn about the company, and find ways you can add value, you’ll set out on the right foot from the start.