16 Tips for Starting a New Job

See also: Self-Confidence

So, you've made it past the interview process and actually landed your dream job. Congratulations!

The hard part is over, right? Yes and no.

This could be the beginning of a great experience or an infuriating one depending on how prepared you are to start off on the right foot.

Here's a step-by-step guide for making sure that happens:

1. Read Everything

Nope, not joking. Read all company memos from top to bottom, including newsletters from trade publications in your field of work (should have been done before joining). If there's a dress code attached to your role, then read up on that too. Get a handle on company policies and procedures, so you're not fumbling around looking like a fool.

2. Make the Rounds

Introduce yourself to everyone, but don't just say your name and leave it at that. This is the perfect opportunity to get a feel for what makes each person tick, both in and out of the office. Who knows? Maybe you'll discover a common interest like skiing or theater. Chances are it won't be this simple but getting acquainted might lead to something productive down the road. Be genuine!

3. Confirm Expectations

It's never too soon to ask about what's expected of you when it comes to deadlines, quality standards, and team efforts. Find out what responsibilities you're taking on and how they fit into the company culture. If necessary, set up a few introductory meetings where you can meet with your new boss, team members, and any specialists who are part of the process.

4. Settle In

Hopefully, you've had time to read up on all things company before you arrive. If not, now is the time. Get set up in your office, tidy it up a bit if necessary, and dig right into your assignments. All that's left is to introduce yourself to anyone else important around the office or people with whom you'll be working directly. Don't forget this step!

5. Help Out When You Can

It would be great if everyone could get along without asking for help, but this isn't realistic. If someone asks for assistance, give it freely. Not only will this make others feel better about themselves, but you'll look like a team player. It's a win-win situation!

6. Get the 411 on Your Peeps

Asking questions about others is a great way to break into a conversation and jump-start a relationship. Find out who knows who, which departments work together frequently, and what other resources are available to you. People love feeling connected to something larger than themselves, so learn everyone's background to promote goodwill in the office.

7. Find Time for Yourself

If you're an introvert, then you probably wish this tip wouldn't exist. If not, however, then embrace it wholeheartedly! Take some time for yourself when things get busy. This doesn't mean you should slack off but giving yourself a much-needed break might be the ticket to staying sane. Who knows? You may even make some great contacts in your downtime.

8. Do Your Best Work

It's all about how you perform. Be sure that reports, projects, and other deliverables are up to par. Use the resources available to you and take advantage of any training sessions scheduled. Follow through with what was started before you arrived and continue with new initiatives to keep things moving forward. Trust me; this is just as important for your coworkers as it is for you!

9. Make Friends

This one sounds simple enough, but it can actually get tricky depending upon who you sit near or hang out with at lunch. Workplace friendships can be challenging, but if you're looking for a way to network and meet new contacts, then it's worth the effort. Try joining a team or club that interests you and volunteer to help out in any way possible if your boss is part of this group, all the better!

10. Be Honest

This tip is essential to remember at all times. It's hard to gain trust if others have reason to believe you're being dishonest. Make sure you are truthful about your past, complete all assignments, meet every deadline, and take on any project, no matter how large or small. Remember, employers run a criminal background check on every new hire. Be on your best behavior, and everything will fall into place.

11. Stay Positive

No one enjoys a Negative Nancy, so be sure to keep your attitude in check. Even if things are tricky and you're feeling overwhelmed, don't let it show. Instead, stay upbeat, positive, and focused on the task at hand. This will reflect well on you and might just be the thing that gets you through a rough patch.

12. Make Yourself Known

This step is essential for both your career and social life. Attend company events, join in on office discussions, and get to know the people you work with. You'll be surprised at how much easier it is to form relationships when you take the time to introduce yourself.

13. Networking

Don't forget that networking is an integral part of the business. Try to expand your list of contacts within the industry by attending local meet-ups, conferences, and other types of gatherings. This gives you an excellent opportunity to prove your worth and increase your standing in the company by providing valuable insight and keeping up with current affairs. You never know when something might come in handy!

14. Be Unique

Don't be afraid to stand out as different. If you're not like everyone else or don't quite mesh, don't sweat it. Leadership types tend to value this quality and will often gravitate toward candidates who set themselves apart from the pack. Even if you're a total "people person," there's nothing wrong with having a unique perspective and voice.

15. Set Boundaries

If you've ever worked in an office, then you know all about the "work spouse" phenomenon. However, it's important to remember that your personal life should remain just that; personal. Don't let yourself get too comfortable with your peers, and never share more than what is asked or required of you. You'll be surprised at how much this will help when it comes time to leave for a better job (which is bound to happen!).

16. Seek Out Feedback

The best way to grow is through constructive criticism. If there are opportunities to improve upon specific areas of weakness, take them seriously and use resources available to you if need be. Remember that mistakes are okay but aim high and don't stop until you reach perfection! That's what employers are looking for when they give an assignment.

The Bottom Line

Working a new job is scary no matter what your experience level. Still, it's essential to learn the skills you need in order to succeed. Hopefully, these tips will help ease the transition and make your work life a little easier.

About the Author

Anna McKinney, a self-published author and an innovator in the specialized recruiting niche, has created a new initiative. The mission is to create a culture where it's okay for people to come together to discuss the issues plaguing the American workplace. "The real world is not always black and white," according to McKinney. "In order to make progress, we need to be able to have an open and honest dialogue with each other."