It’s a new year with new opportunities. For some, the New Year might offer the chance for a new job. As exciting as starting a new job can be, it can also be a little nerve-wracking. The first week of a job is basically just like your first week of high school. You want to make a good first impression, you’re not sure if your outfit is quite right, and you have no clue where you will sit for lunch (and yes, you might want to throw up). If you can survive your first week of high school, you can surely handle your first week at work. If only high school came with a set of tips like these when you’re the new kid on the block.
From meeting the team, learning the processes, and finding out what projects you will be working on, your first week is information overload. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No one expects you to know everything when you start a new job, so speak up when you need clarification. But, take good notes as you are accumulating all of your answers. By writing everything down, you are creating a future reference so you don’t have to ask the same question twice.
Be Nice to Yourself
Even with that 4.0 or previous work experience, mistakes are inevitable – and that’s okay! As hard as it may be, don’t beat yourself up over them. Your employer likely believes that mistakes are a part of growing, and you should too. When you discover that you’ve made a mistake, own it without making an excuse. Find out why your choice was the wrong one so you can learn from the experience. After that, pick your head up and move on!
Set Expectations – For Your Boss and Yourself
How do you know if you’re getting the hang of your new job? You don’t really know unless you receive some sort of feedback or metric to use. It’s a good idea to have a discussion with your supervisor to define success. What would your supervisor like you to accomplish after 30 days in your new role? What skills would he or she like to see you master after 6 months? By having those expectations outlined, you can create weekly or monthly goals for yourself so that you can meet your supervisor’s expectations.
Say Yes to Lunch
Sometimes when you are the new employee, the most intimidating aspect can be that your coworkers already have established friendships. Take the initiative and introduce yourself to people – I promise it pays off. One of the best ways to get to know people is over lunch. It gives you a chance to get to see your coworkers in a different light and talk about things other than work. If a coworker invites you to lunch, accept the invitation. Or, invite a coworker to eat with you. It could be the beginning of a really great friendship. And maybe you will discover that the best peanut butter pie is at an eatery just down the road – and THAT’S really important information, too.
San Antonio Coffee Festival – January 7
Texas Young Professional Happy Hour – January 11
TAMIU Office Tour – February 10
UTSA ALPFA Office Tour – February 18