4 things to do in your first month at a new job
To set yourself up for success at your new job, consider the following tips:
1. Establish weekly and monthly goals
Chances are, your new manager will have prepared goals for your first week on the job. These should give you a good idea of what will be expected of you as you ease into the new position. It's likely that these goals will be related to getting you up to the same speed as your coworkers. Hitting productivity marks, and completing early assignments could take up a lot of your time during this onboarding period.
"In the staffing world, our shared database allows us to track productivity metrics rather easily," says Maricela Ostrand, Division Director of Beacon Hill's Pharma Division in Chicago. "For new hires, this means that individuals can easily see a 'blueprint' of what is successful. Upon starting, they can focus on hitting these goals in controllable activities, such as number of connections made, number of submittals, etc."
In addition to the goals set by your boss, you should set personal career development goals for yourself. More than getting a paycheck, what else do you hope to accomplish? Do you want to broaden or sharpen your skill set? Make new professional connections? Whatever your goals, it's never too early to start pursuing them.
2. Ask questions
When you're a newcomer to an organization, you may feel pressured to act confident and self-assured. After all, the company hired you because of your skills, experience and expertise, right?
According to author and Harvard Business Review contributor John Coleman, faking it until you make it is not a great strategy for making a good first impression. As Coleman noted, you will learn much faster if you admit when you don't know something and aren't afraid to ask questions. Even if you've worked in your field for decades, it's important to remember that no organization is the same – processes, practices and methodologies differ even if the work is substantially the same.
If you don't feel comfortable peppering your new boss with questions, seek out a colleague and get to know him or her better. Look for someone who is willing to give you a helping hand as you learn the ropes of the organization. "It is vital for a new hire to have a mentor/buddy whom they can approach with questions," remarks Ms. Ostrand. "This will help them build confidence and a feeling of community among their new peers."
3. Don't eat lunch alone
Your first month on the job is a perfect time to get to know your coworkers. In addition to finding people who can help you learn about processes and policies, spend some time getting to know everyone you work with. These people don't need to be your direct coworkers, either – say hi to people from other departments and don't be afraid to ask if you can eat lunch with them.
"At Beacon Hill, we prioritize building internal relationships, not only with immediate peers but people from all divisions and levels or the organization," explains Ms. Ostrand. "The learning opportunity is reciprocal – we can all discover new ideas from one another. That's why we not only strive to have lunch together, but also organize intradepartmental quarterly outings and weekly office fun. These outings help drive investment in each other's success – the more we know each other, the more we work together to achieve the same goal."
Coleman suggested introducing yourself to everyone, from the secretary to the CEO. Everyone in the company can teach you something new, and you may even make some friends in the process. "When you're a new employee, the lion's share of your time at the office will most likely be spent immersed at your cubicle or with your manager," says Shawna Bestreich, Division Director of Beacon Hill's Associates Division in Dallas. "Lunch provides you the opportunity to meet people outside your department, and spend time outside of the confines of your work getting to know the culture of the organization." Work doesn't need to be serious all the time, so try have fun and don't take it to heart if your lunch invitations get turned down. Accept the denial respectfully and find someone else. You might be surprised at how open people can be.
4. Prioritize yourself
No one expects you to come in to a new organization and shake things up immediately. Your manager should understand that it takes time to settle in and ramp up to full productivity. Make sure you're getting plenty of sleep, and do not neglect your physical and mental wellbeing.
If you find yourself getting stressed out, anxious or falling victim to imposter syndrome, take a few moments in a quiet space to practice breathing techniques or mindfulness exercises. Call on friends to get out of a work-centered mindset for a few minutes and ground yourself.
Your first month at a company is sure to be filled with unexpected challenges and opportunities. To learn more about what you can do to make sure you're successful in your new position, check out our resource center today.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.