As a new employee, you are all revved up and ready to take on the world. That positive attitude and can-do spirit is great. However, there are some things you should consider in order to get acclimated to the company culture, your boss and your fellow colleagues. Just as you were hyper-aware as an interviewee, so should you be as a newbie in the workplace to make a good first impression and build a solid reputation. The following are a few tips for the first day of work and the days that follow it:
Learn the lay of the land. Say hello to everyone and try to start remembering names and their departments. If it’s a large company, then you might be focused on just one department. Learn who does what — who is on the management team and who reports to those folks. Be nice to everyone, ask constructive questions, listen and take notes. Observe who seems to be helpful and trustworthy, as well as how the department and company as a whole work.
Don’t gossip. Employees who have been at a company for a while might make mention of some internal happenings or personalities. Try to avoid getting too wrapped up in these conversations. Again, listen rather than offer commentary, and excuse yourself if you don’t feel right. Remember: You should develop your own opinions as time goes on and not be influenced by others.
Do your job well, but don’t reinvent the wheel. Even if you immediately see where things can be improved in your department, hold your horses on coming out with all of your big ideas. Keep a file on your computer with your thoughts, but sit on them for at least a month or two until you have a better grasp on the company and its people. What you can do is start by presenting small ideas that make some impact but aren’t moving mountains. In this case, your coworkers and boss alike will appreciate your fresh perspective and you will gain value.
Armed with these tips for the first day of work and beyond, you’re bound to start your new job on a good foot and build a solid reputation.
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