By Emmanuel Zvada
BEING the new kid on the block is both exciting and nervous. You will be entering an unfamiliar territory filled with new opportunities, but also riddled with pitfalls for those who are unprepared.
Whether you are someone just moving to a new company or a fresh graduate landing his first job, surviving the first weeks of employment is a hustle. It is natural to be nervous during your first week at a new job, and challenges will almost certainly arise. Here is how to tackle them.
This fear of the unknown hits us right before we take on a new endeavour — It is normal to be nervous when starting a new job, but there are challenges you can anticipate. Common challenges during the first week of a new job include information overload, little work and fitting into the company culture. During your first job, you will face a lot of new challenges — some personal, others professional but all of them will act as challenges during onboarding. To make the most of your first week, confirm your working hours and introduce yourself to your team at the same time trying to match in the team.
Common first-week job challenges
During your first week at a new job, you might encounter being overloaded with information. One of the most difficult aspects of starting a new job is having to quickly catch up with the rest of your team, especially if you are replacing someone. While good managers are understanding and expect there to be a learning curve, the business cannot pause for too long. The most important of all the things is to understand that the first few weeks in a job are bound to be a tad different than usual as it will be a learning period.
In the first day of your new job, you will see a bunch of new faces around you helping you or guiding you to understand them better. Every workplace has its own culture and it would take time to understand and adapt to their new ways. In that regard, having an open attitude and maintaining work etiquettes will help you fit in quickly. On the same note, asking questions if you don’t understand anything will help you fit in with
One of the most important things that one might forget is to observe and ask what the company is expecting from you and how good you are at it. Setting the right expectations and having to step up a bit or tone down will make it much easier to create an impression and live up to it.
Maintaining work-life balance
Let’s say you easily struck a reasonable work-life balance at your old job, if your new company expects you to be available on Slack more often than your old one, you could have trouble adjusting at first. And if your boss unexpectedly asks you to spend several extra hours per week working, that could prove troubling too.
Normally first weeks are most of the times hectic and you must not follow a normal schedule, but try to clear your personal plate the first week of your new job. You must cancel any unnecessary appointments and understand your day may not end at your ideal time, hence you must manage your time properly to avoid unnecessary work-related stress.
Surviving the first weeks of employment
It is true that, unfairly or not, first impressions last especially during your first weeks at work. Your reputation is quickly established which may determine whether management puts you in the fast-track or in a dead-end job. While people are willing to grant a certain amount of forgiveness for new employees that time can be tricky because you might become a misfit and chances of you enjoying the environment will be slim. It is all the more important to know the right moves if you are just starting out in a company.
Understand the company
Understanding the company entails familiarising yourself with the products and/or services it provides, regardless of your role in the company whether you are someone working directly with the products in your operation, or someone far behind the scenes.
You are now a representative of the company wherever you go and you must always know how to explain what your office does. In knowing the company, you also get to identify how your tasks contribute to the operations in your office. You need to make friends, build relationships, and in doing so, figure out who knows where the office supplies are stored, who can explain all the key things you may be in need of. You should be very careful to avoid workplace cliques to early before you learn the company culture.
Wear your friendliest smile and always be happy
You don’t know anyone when starting a new job. You have to memorise at least a dozen names. You also have to figure out who you will be working with and under. There will be a lot of new personalities and questions thrown your
Despite how stressful the situation is, you only get one chance at a good first impression and you should prepare to repetitively introduce yourself to different people. I knew some people who even memorised their introductions to save them from the trouble of having to think of things you want to say about yourself
Just be sure to introduce yourself normally, like a friendly person would do and not like a pompous employee touting all his achievements since high school. The first tip to introducing yourself in any professional setting is to tell your name and what you do.
This is not about job titles, though. It is important to consider the context of who you are talking to. Your job title does not mean much if you are not a CEO or a chief officer. It is better to talk about what your job does in relation to the other person’s position instead of what it means to you.
Have a good understanding of policies
All workplaces have a set of policies that employees must follow. While it may seem like just a formality, you may have just found yourself in hot water after violating one of them shortly after starting your new job. If there is a HR department, you must set up a meeting with them to go over the policy so that you familiarise with
Even if they supplied a written document with these rules, speaking to someone about them face-to-face will give you the opportunity to ask questions. The company manual is there to guide everyone what they can, should and cannot do in the performance of their tasks. Knowing also the small things will help you to make sure that you do not violate company policies. Never use your ignorance of these policies as excuse as it is your job to inquire about and follow them.
Work hard and challenge yourself
It’s only your first week, but you have to prove your worth. How does one create value in such a short amount of time? Instead of allowing your job to challenge you, try challenging yourself instead.
This means setting up mini goals and benchmarks for yourself so that you can measure your own idea of success in this new role. Whether it is getting through three tasks a day or simply spending an hour learning about your new position, you get to determine whether or not you’re doing a great job.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression; use these tips to get it right. A new job is not just a new opportunity for professional growth, but also for personal growth. You will meet new people, be subject to a new set of rules, new leadership style, and perhaps even a new working
Be adventurous enough to accept and adapt to them. By trying out new things, you not only get to meet other people but also learn about yourself and discover new things that you never knew you would like. It might not hurt if you join your colleagues in their lunch out even for just a few times.