In our continuing series on Q&A with hiring experts, we work to help spread the word about best practices for people on the job search. In this interview we were asked:
“What tips can you offer about what to do and what not to do when you start a new job?”
Starting a new job is one of the most important parts of being successful long term. GigSpire’s recommendations to making the most of your first day:
Arrive Early – The first thing you can do is start by arriving 15 minutes before you are supposed to. Arriving early sends a positive message to most managers, communicating your enthusiasm for the activity without saying a word.
Dress for Success – Dress appropriately for the workplace, even one level above what is traditionally worn in the workplace for your first day.
Bring I-9 Documents – The first day of work often involves filling out paperwork in order for the business to establish you as an employee of the company. You will need to bring information for your I-9 form, traditionally requiring at least one form of photo identification.
Have something to take notes
Bring a Notepad & Pen – You will most likely speak with many people who can offer you helpful information that you should write down. You will also see some of the processes of the business that you should make note of.
Project Enthusiasm, Confidence & Respect – During the first conversations with your new co-workers, the goal is to project enthusiasm, confidence and an aura of respect—no matter who you are meeting. Show the same manner of respect to the Executives as you do the Administrative Assistants. Make a great first impression!
Stay away from polarizing conversations.
Stay Away From Mistake Conversations – During your conversations try to find some common ground. Topics safe to discuss are hobbies, work roles and general subjects. Stay away from controversial subjects like religion, sex, drugs and politics and avoid comments about cultural and age differences.
Observe the Business Process – Over the course of the first few weeks of your new job, it is our recommendation that you speak less than you listen. Commit yourself to observing the way the business environment operates. Observing will allow you to learn the dynamics of the work environment. You will learn: • Who is responsible for what tasks. • How things are handed off between teammates and coworkers. • Managerial expectations for performance and reporting purposes. • Meeting cycles and schedules. • And anything else that defined the “how to” of doing your job successfully.
Complete your onboarding paperwork quickly.
Get Your Paperwork Completed – The organization will most likely provide documents on your first day that can include the employee handbook, tax forms, confidentiality and non-compete agreements, benefit information, etc.. It’s important to understand these documents and get them completed and submitted to the proper people to complete the onboarding process.
All of these suggestions will better prepare you to start a new job with the greatest chances of learning the organizational culture, the role players and how the business of the day is done. Do your best to learn how to “fit in” to the current state of the organization and avoid creating a situation where you present conflicting opinions when possible during the first few weeks. Once you understand the environment and the people you will have a better chance of becoming a critical part of the team instead of the new person who creates trouble.