David Janowsky - Partner, Financial Contracting New England
You got the job! Congratulations! After weeks (or months) of looking, you landed a coveted position. The hard work is over, right? Not so fast. While getting the job is a major accomplishment, you still need to start out on the right foot. Here are ten tips for starting a new job:
1. Catch the worm—Plan on arriving 10-15 minutes before your work day starts, including parking, walking, and elevator time. Practice the drive during your typical commuting hour. Twenty minutes door to door on a Sunday afternoon may turn into two hours on a Monday morning.
2. Up the ante on the dress code—Is the dress code suits and ties, jeans, or in between? Adhere to the dress code, and even take it up a notch. If jeans are the norm, go for khakis on the first day. If it is business casual, wear a button down shirt instead of a polo.
3. Know your boss—Who will be your supervisor on your first day? You may have interviewed with the hiring manager, but she may not be supervising you. Get contact information ahead of time. Also find out what the protocol will be for checking in that morning. Do you ask at the front desk or go up to the correct floor? This may seem insignificant, but these kinds of details will save time and eliminate confusion.
4. Put your supervisor in speed dial—Have a direct line for contacting your manager in case of any problems. If there is a traffic accident or severe weather, call your manager directly. Leaving a message with the receptionist might not be enough; and that person might be stuck in the same traffic.
5. Your recruiter is your friend—If your new job is a contract position, have your recruiter’s number on hand. Give him or her a call if you are going to be late or if there’s a problem on the job. Not only are recruiters like co-supervisors, they are also your ally! They can run interference for you or help solve any issues at work.
6. Listen to processes and procedures—You want to slip into your new role seamlessly and be independent as soon as possible. Listen closely to directions and pay attention to the company’s procedures. You may think you have a better way to do things, but it’s Day One. Follow along and learn.
7. Take notes!—Your first day can be overwhelming—new place, people, and technology. You won’t be able to remember everything, so write it down! You’ll want to refer to your notes if you have questions. Waiting to ask your manager or another employee could negatively impact your performance.
8. Buddy up after hours—It’s great to make friends on the job, but keep work day chit chat to a minimum. It’s best to get to know your new colleagues in greater depth at lunch or after hours.
9. Take a break from Facebook—During the workday is not the time to update your Facebook profile (“I’m sitting at my desk at my new job!”). You should also avoid Twitter, reading celebrity gossip sites, or checking your Fantasy Baseball standings.
10. Check in—At closing time, connect with your manager to review your day. Did you dress okay? Are there any concerns? Did you provide value? Is there anything else you can do to make your manager’s life easier? And make sure you share this feedback with your recruiter if you are on a contract position.
By following these ten tips for starting a new job, you can guarantee that your first day—and the weeks that follow—will be a success!