Recently, a conversation led to an interesting
dilemma. A person started working at his
firm, but found things “slow” and almost
remote, unorganized and little prepared to
“bring him on board.”
This is not an uncommon situation for a person
just joining a company. The position is
likely to be challenging, and the people,
policies and procedures
will be unfamiliar.
While most managers understand you
need time to adapt, the company,
however, is expecting things from
you and watching you right from the
beginning. Remember, too, that
first impressions last a long time.
Because first impressions are lasting ones,
here are tips to consider in your first
month on the job:
* Begin your job at your best.
*Assess the unwritten culture.
spend some time studying the culture at the firm.
HOW: Consider arriving 30 minutes early and
leave half an hour late on your
first few days to
get a sense of how many others in your group do the
Note whether your co-workers or manager
are fielding calls or emails from home,
Determine the prevailing communication style
email, voice mail, formal documents, formal
meetings or informal meeting with face-to-face
Appearance counts: observe the dress code:
Breaks, exercise, lunch traditions: When and
for how long do people do these things?
Adapt to unwritten company rules. Though
some customs may seem strange to you,
keeping an open mind shows you’re willing
to be part of the team.
* Clarify your boss’s expectations and goals
* be on the “same page” as your manager
* meet with him or her to discuss your
responsibilities and how your position fits into
the grand scheme.
- What are the immediate priorities and issues
that need to be addressed?
- How often and in what form should I provide
you with project updates?
- How will my performance be evaluated?
* You may also want to request feedback
three or four weeks into the
position to make
sure you’re on the right track.
*Get to know the team.
Take the initiative to speak to colleagues
for a longer period of time, whether it’s over a
coffee break, lunch or more formal one-on-one
learn specifics about the other person’s
role, how his or her responsibilities affect your
own and how the two of you can most
effectively work together.
*Have a plan
develop a strategy your first days on the job.
will serve as a useful tool for your first review.
steps you must take to reach them.
Examples: learn a proprietary file system, memo
retention policy and practice getting feedback or
lunch with a co-workers each week during your
Exude confidence, but you don’t want to seem
like a know-it-all who won’t adapt.
Be enthusiastic displaying an upbeat, dedicated
attitude, your boss and co-workers will be
thrilled you’re part of the team.