You sent off your application for a job you thought was perfect for you and landed an interview right away. It went pretty well, so you start thinking ahead: How can you ensure that your transition to a new role goes smoothly?
Remember Why You Were Hired
The first day or few days of a new job are often a flurry of meeting co-workers, doing onboarding paperwork, and learning the tasks that you will be doing daily. As you do all of these important things, it's crucial to remember back to the interview exactly why you were hired so that you can fulfill that purpose going forward and show your value.
When you approach a new job not just as a series of tasks but with an overarching purpose for your presence there, you will be more likely to prioritize effectively and set goals that can move the company forward. If the interview didn't cover the purpose and goals for the job, set aside some time the first week to explore this with your new team or supervisor.
Pick Up on Cultural Nuances
Every company has its own particular culture, which usually includes some unusual ways of doing things and customs that only insiders know about. Some of these, your onboarding team will tell you. Others, you can pick up by observation. And for the rest, asking questions will tell you what you need to know. In companies with a strong culture, getting these nuances down can be even more important than learning the actual job.
Put Yourself Out There
If you're not an extrovert, it's probably at least a little nerve-wracking to think about getting to know all the new people you will come across when starting a new job. Some will be introduced to you, but you will have to fill in the gaps and introduce yourself to others. Beyond introductions, it will probably take some initiative to get to know new colleagues so the workplace begins to feel comfortable.
Having a basic script for these conversations can help break the ice in a way that doesn't feel too awkward. Figure out ahead of time what you want to tell new co-workers about yourself and how you can invite a few to lunch or coffee to get to know them a little better. Some will probably make it easy, while others will be natural introverts who may want to be welcoming but not know how.
It would be great if you could jump right in and get going full speed on the first day, but it usually takes a few weeks or months to find your groove and reach your optimal level of productivity. There is a lot to learn and get used to at first, and getting acclimated is important so that going forward, you can really do your best.
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