Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tips For Your 1st Week on a New Job

It's that time of year again! The time where you may find yourself moving to completely foreign locations, meeting entirely new people, and getting that "I just arrived at camp...what do I do now?!" feeling. No worries, though! Before you know it, you'll be happily settling into your new position and feeling right at home. 

From past experience, I can tell you that it usually takes 2-3 weeks in a new environment to start getting truly acclamated. Do not stress if you do not feel at home right away. The disorientation will pass! 

Here are a few tips to make sure that you can get acclamated to your new quickly and also take care of some important steps in your employment...

Stage One: Welcome to our Company...Overwhelmed Yet?
  • Before starting work, make sure that you have all of the necessary information for your starting day. Where should you report to? Who is meeting you? Do you have their contact information? Making sure you're prepared for the little details will ensure a good first impression. Being late or lost on your first day are no fun. Get the facts before you set foot on company property. 
  • Be prepared for a slew of paperwork. The first thing you will have to do at the majority of companies is complete all the necessary paperwork for HR. This includes I-9's, Direct Deposit applications, company codes of conducts, etc. It's generally a good idea to check what forms of ID you will need to bring with you on your first day. Also, if your company does Direct Deposit, there is a solid chance you will need to bring a voided check so that they can record your account and routing numbers. 
  • DO NOT BE SHY! In many cases, companies will do on-boarding for multiple people at a time to prevent having to make the same speeches hundreds of times when they could just do it all at once. In these settings, it is always a good idea to avoid any shy tendencies. Introduce yourself to other new hires. Besides meeting people right away in your company, you'll also give the impression of being amiable. Plus, getting conversations started will ease your nerves along with the nerves of the people you are talking to. 

Stage Two: The "What is your name again?" Scramble

The next part of your on-boarding at a new job will generally include a marathon of casual or formal introductions. At this point in most new employees' days, this is where your brain truly starts to fry. Stay calm. You will not be tested on the names of everyone in your office at the end of the day. Here's a few more ways to make this part of your on-boarding easier. 
  • Remember that you can always ask someone's name later or look for clues to figure it out. Name plates on cubes or office doors, printed on badges, or listening in for greetings between two people are great ways to figure out someone's name. If all else fails, asking again is not that bad. Just make an effort to remember their name for next time. 
  • Similarly to during your on-boarding, make sure to avoid being shy because you feel out of place or nervous. Smile, greet everyone kindly, and go out of your way to be pleasant. Shyness can also come across as arrogance or seen intimidating. Silly, right? But it is true! 

Step Three: The Overload

This is where you have to make like a sponge and absorb every bit of information possible. Reaslistically, this process should continue into every single day of your working life. At this point, it is your job to ask questions, observe, and figure things out. Expect to be overwhelmed and do not be afraid to ask what may seen like silly questions. To be honest, you will seen much sillier if you ask them a month down the road. 

While there's no way that I could possibly generalize everyone's initial experiences at a new company, hopefully this gives you a small taste of what it is like to go into a new job. Keeping a smile on your face and your curiousity bubblin' will allow you to start to wrap your head around your new surroundings. Every day you are able to do this is one day closer to starting to feel accustomed to your new environment and feeling like you fit into your new position. 

As always, 

Good Luck Job Seekers! 

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