How to Smash Your First Week at Your New Job

The first week of work at a new job can be a stressful time for anyone. So many new faces to meet, names to remember and procedures to learn.

While being comfortable at work is important, the first week is generally the time that you’ll feel the most nervous. And everyone understand that – your new employer included.

Use the first week to get a feel for your new place of work and get a better understanding of expectations. Hopefully you got a bit of an impression of the company from the interview. (This is why is pays to ask the right questions). The orientation process is an excellent opportunity to see a bit more how the company, coworkers and boss really work.

Basically, the first week is one of the best times for you to solidify a reputation. It allows you to nail those first impressions and really get your bearings.

How You Can Smash the First Week of Work

Ask Lots of Questions

Don’t be intimidated or overconfident during your first week. Ask questions about anything and everything. Asking questions is a great skill to have. It shows you are engaged, curious, and excited to learn. Perhaps most importantly, these things can save you down the line. Impress someone by knowing something about the company they didn’t expect you to but don’t get embarrassed asking a question about something you should already know. Do your homework!

Find Out Where Everything Is and How It All Works

Similar to asking questions, make sure you use the grace period of the first week to find out where everything is. Make sure you find out how the printer works and how the security door closes. While your employer should make it their priority to make sure you know how everything works, there might be things that escape their attention. This could also be a great opportunity to meet some of your new co-workers and, possibly, make some new friends.

Be First In, Last Out

There’s no need to go overboard. You don’t need to arrive before the lights are on, but you do need to be early, rather than late.  Arrive 15-30 minutes before you are scheduled to start, and don’t up-sticks on the dot of finishing time.  Look to see what your colleagues do and take that as your cue. If everyone is still working diligently at 5pm, ask what you can do to help, rather than packing up your bag and taking off.  It WILL be noticed. During the first week, try your hardest to get noticed as someone who is prepared to pull their weight.

Don’t Overcommit

Although it can feel extremely difficult to say no to invitations or events, it’s important to remember your limits and not over-extend yourself. It’s understandable that you want to make the best impression, but know when to say enough and head home. Looking after your mental health and well-being is always important.

Don’t Turn Down Advice or Help

It can be tempting to want to “lone wolf” it when you start out at a new job. The fact is, whether you’re fresh out of school or a veteran of the industry, no workplace will be the same. If someone offers to show you their way of doing things, let them. They just might be able to teach you something new. At the very least, they will show you the accepted way of doing things at your new workplace.

Of course, if you know a better or more effective way to do something you can share it with your colleagues. The first week of work might not be the perfect time though!

Watch and Learn From Your Coworkers

One of the best things you can do during your first week is find out how the office ecosystem works. Who is the go-to person? Is there an office gossip? Who does everyone look up to? Watching how people act during you first week can help ensure you don’t get on the wrong side of people. If everyone leaves work to have lunch, for example, then you might not want to eat in.

Finally, avoid the cliques and the bullies – but take note of them. Identifying a toxic company culture as fast as you can will save you pain in the long run. If it looks like a train wreck in your very first week then it very probably is one.

Tell Me More

What was your first week of work like? Was it easy and fun or a nightmare? Let me know below! 

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