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Top Tips for Starting a New Job

So you made it. The job-searching is over, the constant amendment of your CV and the continuous remaking of Cover Letters has finally finished. You now have a job that you can get stuck into with hard work and hey, maybe you could try to move up the ladder in the company at some point!

The first day is looming. You're slightly anxious about the start. New job, new surroundings, new people...Aaaaahhh!

Laugh it off, everybody feels like this. Don't let that bother you one bit. The hard part is over, and now it's time to settle in.

So first things first. What can you dig up about your new role? If you really want to hit the ground runningtry to find some useful info that will inform you of in-house procedures and policies (this will probably be part of your training, anyway); but more importantly, what is expected of your new role in particular. If you can't seem to find anything about your new role's day-to-day tasks in the company's general information, don't forget that you still have the job spec from your application - or that you can likely find someone in a similar role in the company from whom you could get guidance.

When you start, take interest in everything your role offers. Find out as much as you can. Write down as much as you can to refer to at a later time. The interview you attended to get this position is well over, but you need to treat the start of your job as an extension of your interview. They are still taking notes on you. They are still measuring you up. You've impressed them in the interview room but now you need to follow through and show them what you claimed to be capable of. Yes, it is only the start, but this is where you can really make a lasting impression. Remember, if you're feeling out of your comfort zone, that's a sign that you're being challenged - which is good for your career.

I know you might feel like you've done all the hard work to get the job and now you want to relax into the role but relaxing is the worst thing you could do right now.

  • Use your first 30 days as a springboard or a kick-start into a steady flow in your new job.
  • Learn the ropes - e.g. bring system information home with you and study it to put yourself on the front foot which will allow you to become productive quickly.
  • Meet people and integrate into the team - this should be a never-ending task, but at the beginning of a new job it is very important. Build your employment network and get to know who works in your department. Get to know the full team. Build workplace relationships, as this will be vital as your time in the company goes on. Learn the unspoken rules of your colleaguesWhat way are lunch-breaks covered? Is the milk in the fridge communal? Things that could seem little could be large to your new colleagues.
  • Ask questions - this is extremely important because we only learn by questioning. If you want clarification on something, question it. If you are interested in a certain aspect of the job and don't know enough about it, question it. You are the new person - they are well aware of this and are more than likely expecting a torrent of questions so don't feel like an inconvenience. One thing you need to avoid is criticizing or offering suggestions on how work should be done. You're new, so don't be a know-it-all! Instead, ask why? Do your best to understand the reasoning and logic behind procedures. This will most definitely put you in a good light with your new colleagues. Keep your suggestions for when you are established.
  • Take note of the things that seem to frustrate your team the most - this will assist you when you are up and running and in a position to make suggestions. 
  • Are you in a probationary period? Are you now working through a three-, six- or twelve-month probation? If you are, be conscious of it. No matter what task you are assigned, no matter how small it might seem, it is important. The result of your work is a reflection of you and as you are new, your work will be analysed immensely. They want to see if you can deliver on what you promised in the interview. Keep yourself as professional as you can be and set the groundwork for how you want your colleagues to perceive you. Use this time to set up your professional reputation.

Rukaiyah Adams, CIO of the Meyer Memorial Trust said, “I let the organization’s energies flow through me rather than try to alter it...and find out where the toxicity is, where the opportunity is, where the creativity is.” The first few months, she said, you are automatically at a slight disadvantage, and the only way to catch up is to listen more than you speak.

Think, she said, of “three concentric circles. There’s positional power, based on your job title. There’s personal power, the kind of comfort and charisma you bring with yourself. And the third is awareness power, where you have a sense of what’s happening around you.”

All in all, the best thing to do is try your best to set yourself up for later on down the track. If you make sure to put the work in now, then that will make things easier for you down the road and will help you settle in. Keep in mind that it's not all about results. Creating a good healthy working environment for yourself is key to being successful in the future. 

Plan your future. Your future starts now.

Best of luck in your new job from all of us here at EnglishLogica.

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