How to Settle in to a New Job
January 25 2015, 0 Comments
The endless trawling of job boards and miles of travelling to interviews is finally over...
Now the real work begins :)
Your first few weeks in a new job are crucial in building your reputation and internal relationships; so I’ve compiled a few pointers to help you integrate seamlessly into any team and build a solid personal brand.
Shake the nerves
It’s natural to be nervous when starting a new job; you’re entering a well-established and often tight knit community as a complete outsider.
But even the most senior people in the firm will have been in exactly the same position before and you’ll usually find that most people are very welcoming; after all, you must have done something to impress them if they’ve hired you.
Be proud of what you’ve accomplished so far and greet everyone with confidence and a firm handshake.
Socialise with your team outside of work
This is by far the best way of building strong relationships in the office and is particularly important for those in your immediate team and people you work with on a daily basis.
If there’s drinks, dinner, five-a-side football, networking events or in fact anything that your new work buddies attend; get involved straight away and you will really get to know people.
Office small talk can be a little stale in the early stages of a job but if you can join in with some playful banter about your colleagues dancing at last night’s charity event, it makes things a whole lot easier.
Don’t take a packed lunch
This may seem a little trivial, but leave your ham sandwiches at home for a while and take the opportunity to grab lunch with your colleagues.
You’ll find it easier to chat outside of the boxed-in office environment and you can get the low down on people’s personal interests as well as company values.
Nobody likes a scrooge, so make a few generous acts in your first week to ensure people warm to you.
Whether this is getting a round of drinks in at the pub or bringing in a box of chocolates, everyone loves a little treat now and then.
New employees often avoid asking too many questions for fear of irritating the recipient. While you should definitely try to use your initiative to solve problems in the first instance; you shouldn’t suffer in silence for hours or carry out a task without knowing the proper process.
Your new colleagues are there to help and they will certainly understand the necessity for you to ask questions. For non-urgent queries; make a list and ask them all in one batch during your next catch-up or meeting.
Meet as many people as possible
If you learn that you will be interacting with a person regularly in your new role, then you should meet them face-to-face and introduce yourself.
You don’t want to become "that person in Finance who emails me every week"; you should aim to be a known face in the office who people know and respect.
Cultures will be different in every company but whether you just pop over to someone’s desk, grab a coffee with them or book a formal meeting; you need to be asking what extra you can do for them to make yourself a more valued member of the organisation.
Get stuck in
Once you grasp the basics of your role and have become self-sufficient in the day-to-day running of your responsibilities, you should really be reaching out to your direct manager and asking to take on extra duties.
These will differ greatly depending on your industry but it could be anything from alleviating your manager from some of their less important duties, to starting your own initiatives to increase efficiency.
This will not only allow you to learn new skills and gain valuable experience; but will also raise your profile within the business and often increase interactions with more senior figures.
Beware of opportunists who may try to “dump” tasks on you simply because they find them unappealing. If something is not new to you or challenging, then maybe it’s not worth taking on.
Do a good job
Amidst all of the networking and innovating, try not to forget the original function you were employed to carry out. It’s all very well making high profile connections and presenting exciting proposals at team meetings; but if you aren’t covering the basics, you won’t get very far.
First and foremost you need to make sure that you are performing well in your core role duties and that you are keeping all of your key dependants happy.