During your first week in a new job, your new manager should welcome you into the business with a carefully crafted induction process, introducing you to the company ethos and procedures. You should also be re-educated on the specific role you are to fill and its importance within the context of the wider team and organisation.
However, you must remember that it’s not only up to your new employer to provide you with a positive, powerful and effective starting point. Here are some key actions which you should undertake during that very first week.
Lose any pre-conceived notions which may get in the way of learning new concepts. If you’ve had a break since finishing your last job, or perhaps education, then this can help you to effectively prepare. If your new role has elements of work which you’ve undertaken before, be careful not to assume that your tasks will be the same. Such beliefs can affect your concentration and ability to genuinely take on-board new information.
Your new boss may provide a quick introduction but it’s often so swift that both parties forget the other person’s name or role. A few moments with each colleague can pay huge dividends later. Start with those closest to where you are working, but don’t be afraid to gradually expand your introductions area. The more people you know, the easier it will be to ask for or even offer up help. Opening yourself up to people will also help you settle into this new and unfamiliar environment.
Prior to the meeting, find out who the inductor is plus their role within your new company. Ask them for advice and suggestions, especially about who else you should spend time with in your first few weeks. They will most likely be flattered that you value their opinion and expertise, which will stand you in good stead for the future.
It’s so easy for a new-starter to feel reluctant and hesitant to ask too many questions, but it’s in everybody’s interests for you to be fully up-to-speed on how things are done as soon as possible. Having said this, ensure these questions are positively phrased and information seeking in their nature. For example, demanding to know why processes aren’t completed as you’d expect will raise the hackles of colleagues and may prompt them to be defensive towards you.
Your aim here is to start building a positive relationship with your boss. Realise that they might be slightly nervous with a new team member, particularly if the team has been unchanged for a while, so such anxieties are not simply one-sided. Find out what your boss expects of you, how they like to be communicated with, and (subtly) find out the type of traits that they value in an employee. Like any new relationship, it can be an uneasy time for you both. If you show willing, it’s easier for your new boss to respond.
Your recruitment consultant is still there to be a support for you, and is naturally keen to know how things are progressing. If a few little problems rear their head, do discuss them, as your recruiter will have the experience to make some wise suggestions and the ability to still be of help.
Your head is probably being filled with new ideas whilst your body copes with a new environment. Look to get some exercise, organise some relaxing down-time with friends aim to switch off, recharge, and be ready for another day.
These seven steps should make the transition into your new role, a positive and smooth one. Above all, make sure you enjoy your first week. Be ready to look forward to the challenges ahead. Know that your career is taking a powerful forward step in the right direction. Embrace the change; truly show your new colleagues how much you will enjoy being part of their team or organisation, and how much they’ll enjoy having you there.
Adam Shapley, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand and Hays IT Australia & New Zealand, began working at Hays in 2001 and during this time has held significant leadership roles across the business including responsibility for multiple specialisms in various locations across Australia & New Zealand.
In 2018, he was appointed to Hays ANZ Management Board and made Managing Director for Hays New Zealand.
Adam is also responsible for the strategic direction of the Hays Information Technology business across Australia & New Zealand including driving growth across Digital Technology, Projects & Business Change and IT Operations & Support.
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