Starting a new job is usually an exciting prospect for most of us, but it can stir up feelings of immense nervousness too. (Temping can be a great way to get used to different working environments quickly if you haven’t already tried it.) The desire to make a good first impression, remembering your colleagues’ names, and understanding the dynamics of the business culture are just a few of the challenges to overcome in those first few weeks in a new role.
Regardless of whether you’re a new graduate starting your first full-time position, or have thirty years of work experience under your belt, these guidelines are applicable to us all in ensuring a smooth and comfortable probation:
1. Be comfortable not knowing it all
It can be a strange feeling starting a new role, especially if you’ve come from an organisation where the working process with the team was down pat, you could call your colleagues friends, knew your role back to front and had the company dynamics figured out. While a new environment may cause unease at first, be assured that you’re not expected to know everything straight away. If you’re a receptionist, for example, don’t worry if it takes a while to get to grips with the new phone system, or the additional responsibilities you have compared to your last role.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
The time to ask questions is when you first start a new position. Don’t assume, don’t wait to find out and certainly don’t be worried about what people might think. Ask lots of questions, and note it all down in case you need to refer to it at a later date.
3. Build respect
Take every opportunity to introduce yourself and confidently greet your new colleagues with a firm handshake and a smile (use those networking skills!). Don’t rely on others to make those introductions for you. Hopefully, you’ll find your immediate team supportive and helpful, but if you’re replacing someone they particularly liked, there’s a chance you might need to work extra hard to earn their affections! Take time to find out what people enjoy at work and where their interests lie. It could be a weekly bootcamp class, or just Friday drinks. Say yes!
4. Get to grips with the culture
If you’ve come from a particularly close-knit team, throwing yourself into a new environment with new personalities might seem intimidating at first. Be observant, and use your first few weeks to absorb what’s going on around you, taking the time to understand the company values and its staff. Look at how new ideas are put forward and implemented, and know who the key decision makers are.
5. Find a mentor
While you should certainly spend time building rapport with your boss, finding a mentor who can guide and teach you will be invaluable. The most suitable candidates will be those who show initiative, reliability and confidence. Mentoring has significant benefits - not least knowing a senior colleague who will vouch for you if progression opportunities arise down the track.
The initial nervousness of a new role does pass, and most of our placed candidates go on to further their careers with companies who gladly offer those career advancement opportunities. Keep your eyes and ears open during those initial few weeks and you’ll be rewarded with great prospects later on.
Looking for a new role? Get in touch today.