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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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12/05/07
First Days on Job
Filed under: Mentoring, First Year on Job
Posted by: site admin @ 11:19 am

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:
   
BCBTP:

* 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

same.

    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
conversations?


    Appearance counts:  observe the dress code:
semi-formal, business-casual
?

     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
.
       
*ask:
- 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
meeting.

             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.

             personal goals
               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
first month.


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.

One Response to “First Days on Job”

  1. site admin Says:
    In a WSJ item on law blog Diane Prucino a partner offered suggestions on how to succeed. 1. communicate clearly with supervisors about assignments. 2. when a senior person or manager invites you in to her office and tells you what to do. Before leaving, repeat back to them what you are being asked to do. Get a yes, I agree response. 3. Within a short time, send an email to confirm the details of the assignment to confirm. 4. Find a mentor. 5. Develop a niche or continuing strength areas that are critical for success.

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