Five Keys to Starting Strong in Your New Career
From fear and anxiety to excitement, ending your job search is sure to bring a surge of emotions. Within the uneasiness and nerves, you must have the steps in place to get off on the right foot. There are new people to meet, a new environment to adjust to, and new accomplishments to be had. To set you up for success, we pieced together five pivotal steps to take within your first week and month, and how to establish an early model for repeated success:
Your First Week
Make an Enthusiastic Introduction
While it is typical to not want a bunch of attention drawn to yourself when starting with a new company, failing to introduce yourself to everyone can cause you to blend into the background. If you are not comfortable interjecting yourself in conversations, request your manager to make your first introduction to your peers. From there, you must be prepared to know what you want to say to your new co-workers and how to say it.
If you notice your co-workers are in the middle of a conversation, don’t be the one to interrupt. Timing is critical when you are new to the scene. Direct your focus to the individuals who appear more receptive to what you have to say, and reciprocate that receptiveness in what they have to say. Don’t feel the need to prove yourself to your new team right away; taking on that added pressure places weight on your shoulders that is not yours to bear.
Make A Friend
When starting with a new company, the common temptation is to keep to yourself as not to disrupt the preestablished culture and bonds between employees. This is especially true for introverts who are accustomed to operating in solitude, even as well-tenured employees. However, operating in this mindset will often lay a path for career burnout, feelings of detachment and bring you back to the circumstances that left you unhappy in your previous career. Instead, be intentional in seeking out meaningful and productive conversations with your co-workers.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
Connecting with your peers early sets the foundation for your workplace relationships and gives them a chance to see who you really are. Make yourself approachable in the office through the efforts of a smile, a friendly ‘hello,’ and a comfortable handshake. Another strategy to building this comradery is by keeping yourself available for lunch or taking the bold step of inviting someone yourself.
Ask Plenty of Questions
Your first week will likely have you full of questions, but that’s to be expected. Gathering information from your peers and management is the best way to get you up to speed. What are the company’s policies on open communication with management? What does a typical itinerary look like for team meetings, and are you encouraged to speak up? What is your management’s preferred method of communication? You are not expected to know it all when you start a new role with a new company; ask the simple questions now before it’s too late.
Bring a pen and notebook with you throughout the week and take notes on everything. Not only will your thorough detail aid you in the future, but it quickly shows your team members you are a highly organized and motivated professional. If you have questions that you feel are not appropriate to ask in your first week, such as addressing your long-term goals or when you are up for a promotion, write them down and bookmark them for a later date.
Your First Month
Visualize Success with Your Manager
In your first month with a new company, it is critical you take the time to sit down with management and clarify your shared expectations. What will your functional relationship look like on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis? Whether it is on your calendar or not, you must always be prepared to discuss company-related topics and provide updates on a new project.
Think back to your interview. Was there a challenge you addressed or a specific need your employer revealed? Did your problem-solving capabilities lead you to stand out among other candidates? Follow up by following through. Seek out further details from your new manager and write up a potential solution. As you learn more about their business mentality and values, you can more effectively attend to the functions that support their objectives.
Develop Good Habits
Get your workspace organized and prepare for a fresh start. This new job is your chance to phase out old habits and regain control of your reputation. Stay diligent in your mindset and consider operating through daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists. This will allow you to manage your time and finetune your skills effectively.
Are you unaware of the previous bad habits you may have had in your previous role? Now is the time to ask the difficult question to your old colleagues or your friends and family. Getting this answer now is your only chance to remove the potential of your company witnessing the same indiscretions. For example, if you had a reputation for not owning up to your mistakes, or worse, passing the blame, this will have severe consequences in your ability to gain trust and respect from your new colleagues. Practicing accountability takes clear focus, effort, and a commitment to change, but turning your previously negative habit into a strength will be instrumental for your career growth. Don’t overcompensate as to begin over-apologizing for your mistakes; own up to them, apologize, and show the intention to learn from them.
The Model For Repeated Success
- Understand what led to your success and offer admiration for anyone who helped.
- Provide positive affirmations to yourself through multiple outlets (voice, text, email, post-it notes).
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you because they will lead you to believe in yourself.
- Track your successes through analytics.
- Understand the ‘why’ behind your’ what.’
Adjusting to your new job is a gradual process, but taking heed of this model for success will certainly expedite the process. Stress and dysfunction are just around the corner, and they are always ready to consume your career if you let them. Reflect on all the hard work that led you to where you are today, and remember to take things one step at a time.
Before You Go
View Current Job Openings
Follow NexGoal on Twitter
“Like” NexGoal on Facebook
Connect with NexGoal on LinkedIn