Your Guide to Your First Week on the Job

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Your Guide to Your First Week on the Job

Getting used to a new environment, new internal rules is always difficult. When entering a new job, many people experience stress not so much from fear that they will not cope with their duties, but from anxiety about how they will be perceived by colleagues. How to behave in a new place in order to quickly get used to work tasks, make a good impression and make you immediately taken seriously?

First day

Traditionally, a manager introduces a new employee to colleagues. It is good if the company is small or it holds regular general meetings. Then acquaintance with others will happen faster. If you go to work in a corporation, be prepared to get to know colleagues for several weeks, not only through the head, but also in the process of solving problems.

On the first day, the main thing is to be introduced to those with whom you will communicate most often and work abroad in close cooperation. Try to remember them. Even better, write down briefly who is called and who is responsible for what. If you have not been introduced, do not hesitate to come up and get to know yourself. The faster you do this, the easier it will be to interact further.

If you forget someone’s name, ask again. It’s perfectly normal to forget someone if you’ve been introduced to twenty people in a few hours.

If it’s customary in a company to communicate in a general work chat or in a group on a social network, make sure that you are added there (sometimes managers forget about this in the confusion). It’s better to ask about it yourself.

Ask to show you the documents that regulate the work of the department or specifically your labor functions, if any. Of course, you should already be familiarized with everything that is needed for work, and if the organization has a developed corporate culture, then you will also be assigned a curator from among your colleagues to bring you up to date and support you in everything at first. But in the turmoil, they can forget about the formalities, and if all the colleagues are “on fire” at that moment, then the newcomer has to figure everything out on his own. In this case, it is important to be proactive – your success during the trial period depends on this.

Ask colleagues if the office has a dining room or kitchen and where else they have lunch. It’s best to go to lunch with them on the first day, even if you usually prefer to dine alone. A joint lunch is a great occasion for a more informal acquaintance. To begin with, you can talk on neutral topics – who lives where, how long it takes to get to work, what other places for lunch are nearby.

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First week

Your main task for the first week in communicating with colleagues is to remember everyone, to understand who is who and how you interact with them. Colleagues should also remember you and understand what questions they can contact you about.

At this stage, you should not stick out your talents, even if you already see that you are more experienced than your new colleagues in something. At first, take the position of an observer more and express your opinion within reasonable limits, especially if no one asked about it. It is much more important to prove that you are interested in work tasks, that you do not hack, but delve into the processes in detail and learn new things – these are the most important signs of a true professional in any position.

Ask questions. The main rule of communication for the first week: “If you don’t know, ask.” Ask about everything that makes you even the slightest doubt. Even if it seems to you that these are stupid questions, remember that you have an indulgence – you are new here! It is better to figure out how to do it right than to do it at random. Everyone around is well aware that you are a new employee, and even expect these questions from you.

If you have come to work in a new field for you and do not yet understand the process, ask one of your colleagues to explain it to you step by step. It doesn’t have to be your manager or someone senior. It may be more helpful to talk to subordinates or peers. Gradually, you will figure out how everything happens, how much it costs, how much time it takes to implement. If you are a manager, these conversations will help you optimize the processes you run. Here, the fact that you are a beginner can even become a plus: weak points are sometimes more visible from the outside than from the inside, when a person is used to everything and it seems to him that everything is going as it should.

At meetings, feel free to outline the most important things. At first, there will be a lot of information that others understand at a glance, but for you – a dark forest. This is normal: you are new here, you have yet to delve into many nuances, understand the internal processes. This is especially true for large companies with a complex structure. If something is not clear, but you do not want to interrupt the general discussion with your questions, mark these points for yourself and ask your colleagues to bring you up to date after the meeting.

In a new circle there will always be someone who will sympathize with you from the first days and will agree to take the time to give you tips. If you don’t know at all who to turn to for help, ask who in your team was the previous “newcomer” before you – this colleague still has fresh memories of how difficult it was to get used to the new environment, he is best able to understand your feelings and, rather everything, will not dismiss if you ask for help. In order not to distract a colleague from work, the easiest way is to ask him or her to accompany you at lunch and ask the accumulated questions in an informal setting.

Look for feedback. Every day, you don’t need to approach your boss with a request to comment on your work, this is annoying. Come back after the first week (you can write a letter). Next time ask for feedback after the first month, and again after three months. It is good when the company organizes such meetings with each employee, for example, at the end of the trial period. This is usually done by the HR department. At such meetings, they discuss your impressions of the work, give you an objective assessment and together outline possible development paths and goals for the near future. But even if there are no such meetings, ask the leader to meet with you yourself. An adequate boss will never dismiss a newcomer and will find time for him.

False consensus effect

This is one of the biggest mistakes that can happen to a newcomer to a team. The human brain tends to project its way of thinking onto others. We automatically assume that others think the same as we do, although this may not be the case at all. Therefore, there are misunderstandings in the transfer of information – both oral and written.

When communicating with colleagues in a new team, explain the context of your messages. “Check your watch” to make sure you’re talking about the same thing. Everyone has their own quality standards, working tools, habits. Transferring the standard to which you are accustomed to in the same place to the new team and explaining it with the phrase “But it was like this with us …” is the same as going to a strange monastery with your charter. And the concept of “we” for you is now here, and not in the same place, although the realization of this does not appear immediately.

Remember that your colleagues may think very differently. For example, you think that after each meeting, the manager who led the meeting should write a short summary letter to everyone who participated in the meeting. And no one in the company has done this before you. To avoid misunderstandings, discuss the benefits of such letters with colleagues.

Well, the most important thing. You came to this company to work, not to make new friends and charm others. Your manager will primarily evaluate the results of your work. Be friendly, but don’t try to please everyone. Be interested in what is happening, but do not cross personal boundaries. This is the best way to get comfortable in any team.

How to make a good impression without overstepping personal boundaries

Behave naturally. Don’t try to pretend to be someone you really aren’t.

Be polite. Observe the rituals established in the team. If you see that colleagues are collecting a gift to someone in the department, offer to participate. Do not immediately come up with revolutionary ideas. This is not welcome in any established team.

Less emotions. Try to think rationally at work, not emotionally. Something happened? Turn off the emotional reaction and think about how to solve the problem.

Stay neutral. Most likely, after some time you will find friends and allies here. Just like the opponents. All in good time, but first, stay neutral. It is possible that there are ongoing conflicts and other complex relationships in the team that you don’t know about yet, and there are intriguers who can immediately try to drag you into this story that is completely unnecessary for you.

When communicating with colleagues, do not ask them about their personal lives. Don’t go into too much detail about yours either. Do not participate in office intrigues and do not be interested in gossip. It is better to offer to discuss plans for the weekend or a new movie at the cinema.

Take care of your resume

Starting a new job is a reason to update your resume on, indicating in it the start of work in a new place. It might be worth changing the visibility of the resume. If your resume is open to all employers, then your colleagues in a new job can see it and think that you are not going to stay with them and search again.

There are several ways not to leave a resume open to everyone and at the same time not deprive yourself of even more interesting offers (suddenly such will appear):

  • Hide CVs from certain companies. To do this, you need to create your own stop list in a special window. For other employers looking for candidates using the database, your resume will still be available.
  • Set the “Visible to selected companies” mode. Great if you have a dream company or several dream companies and you are always ready to consider offers from them. Your resume will be available for viewing only to those companies that you select in a special window. The rest won’t see it.
  • Make the resume anonymous, that is, hide the full name in it. and contacts by which you can be “calculated” by those who know you, and even places of work.

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