You got the call. That job you’ve been spending weeks prepping for is yours. You’re surprised; relieved; excited; nervous (especially since your start date is just a few weeks away).
You were hired because the company had faith in you, but you’re going to need to prove them right by preparing for what you’re walking into. Remember, first. Impressions. Are. Everything.
Of course, every office is a different habitat. Some are quiet and introverted; you’ll feel like every breath or footstep shakes the room. Others are loud, energetic, and fun; you may even have to dodge a paper airplane or two.
Wherever you’ll be working, you won’t know what to expect until you get there. Here are just a few tips to make sure you spend your first two weeks standing out — in a good way.
You may be hoping to quietly slip into the group instead of walking around with a “Hello, My Name is Fresh Meat” nametag stuck to your chest. But in reality, those first few weeks might make you feel like all eyes are on you.
Why not use that attention and spotlight to pick some brains of coworkers? You probably thought you knew everything after the interview process, but there’s no doubt that a hundred questions will spring to mind as the role becomes more and more hands-on.
Asking questions will show that you’re both curious and eager to improve. Those eagle eyes following you around the office will look at you with pride, rather than just another employee they have to train up.
How many questions are too many?
There’s no limit to how much you can ask. But you don’t want to ask the same questions over and over, nor do you want to ask something you could have solved with a quick Google Search.
Any question that shows critical thought and willingness to learn about the role is the key to improvement. After all, the last thing you want to do is make an error that could have easily been avoided with a little clarification.
It may seem obvious, but this might be the most important tip. You don’t want to end your first day with a desk resembling a garage sale. We know you want to appear put-together with a get-the-job-done attitude, so let your workspace reflect that by keeping it simple and organized.
Another way to stay organized is by taking notes. Whether you’re keeping track of the questions you’ve already asked or simply writing down the name of the lady two desks over, writing down anything and everything will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and at risk of a slipup.
Watch the culture closely
Whether you’re working for a large or small practice, your office probably established their cultural norms years before you arrived. (Unless you’re just so awesome that they want you to define the culture.)
It’s hard to truly understand a company’s culture until you’re thrown into the deep end.
Are you meeting the dress code of your coworkers? How often should you approach your boss? Do you have to ALWAYS be “Available” on Slack? How do you balance getting to know the people behind the desks with staying on task?
Most of these cultural cues will reveal themselves within the first few days. Try to match them as closely as possible; there’s nothing worse than your first-day company culture clash becoming the talk of the office.
Of course, there are some things you can’t prepare for until you’ve entered the office, but hopefully, these tips can help take a little bit of the pressure off in your first 14 days. And hopefully, they can remind both you and your employer that you’re a perfect match for the role.
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