Starting a new job is an experience you’ll probably have many times in the course of your life. Even if you’ve done it several times, it somehow always feels momentous. And that’s because it is!
Here at Addition Financial, we’re here to help our members navigate big life moments – and that includes starting a new job. Here are six tips to help you shine.
#1: Create a Personal Brand
The first impression you make when you start a new job is likely to be a lasting one. That’s why it’s essential to think about what you want your personal brand to be.
Let’s face it, it’s better to be seen as someone who’s punctual, eager to learn and a team player than it is to be seen as entitled or careless. Those might seem like extreme examples but they’re a reflection of how deeply your first few days on the job can impact your career.
Before you start, think about how you want to be perceived as well as what you’ll need to do to earn that perception. Being mindful of your personal brand can help you solidify your status and get off on the right foot.
#2: Don’t Be Afraid to Set Boundaries
You want to be a good employee, but that doesn’t mean you need to let people walk all over you. It’s not uncommon for older, more experienced employees to take advantage of newbies.
Here’s an example of what we mean. Maybe your boss likes to work late at night or on the weekends. That’s their prerogative. If you respond to those late-night or weekend emails promptly, though, you’re telling them that you’re willing to work nights and weekends.
A good way to deal with boundaries is to be consistent with them from the start. If your job description doesn’t include being on call outside of work hours, don’t respond to emails that come in after hours or on holidays and weekends. That way, people will know that you have personal boundaries and they’ll be more likely to respect them.
#3: Make Logistical Arrangements Before Starting a New Job
We all have personal lives and sometimes they encroach on work. However, you don’t want to start a new job and ask for accommodations right away. If you can squeeze in your doctor’s appointment or dental cleaning before you start, do it. That way, you won’t need to ask for time off.
The same goes for arranging for your commute, childcare and anything else that might impact your ability to get to your new job on time. Making those arrangements before your first day will ensure that you’re ready to focus on work instead of being distracted.
#4: Make Communication a Priority
One of the top complaints from both employers and employees is poor communication. You can’t control what other people do, but you can vow to be a good communicator and do your part to keep things running smoothly.
Keeping your boss in the loop on your projects and assignments when necessary
Opening and responding to emails promptly
Answering your phone and responding to voicemails right away
Talking to people if you’re confused, frustrated or need guidance
Good communication is a must. It can be frustrating when other people don’t communicate well, but make sure you’re not part of the problem.
#5: Create a Personal Career Development Plan
In your job interview, you were probably asked something like this:
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
It’s a common question – one that’s designed to help your new employer understand what you want from your new job. But it’s just as important once you’ve started your new job.
Having a personal development plan shows employers that you have ambition and take your job seriously. It’s likely to come up during performance evaluations. It’s a good idea to have a written plan and to tweak it as needed. That way, you’ll be able to talk knowledgeably about what you want – and what you’ll need to do to get it.
#6: Participate in Office Activities
Starting a new job means meeting a lot of new people. You’ll need to do your best to fit in with the workplace culture while being mindful of your personal brand and goals.
When you’re just starting out in a new job, it’s helpful to participate in office activities and social gatherings. If your company has a softball team, sign up – or at least show up to cheer for your colleagues. Attend happy hour and eat lunch with your coworkers. It’ll help you get comfortable, build connections and solidify your standing.
When you’re starting a new job, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The six tips we’ve listed here will help you fit in with your new company’s culture and be recognized as the star employee you are.
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