How to Approach your First Week in a New Job

You bought a professional resume template from Diy My Design and absolutely nailed the interview. You landed the job of your dreams, but now it’s crunch time to put the proof in the pudding. The big question is, how do you approach your first week in a new job?

You have 3 options really. You could a) manifest yourself into a small anxiety-ridden ball, b) embrace the opportunity with all guns blazing to make the change and impact you promised in the interview, or c) treat the first week as an information-gathering, culture-identifying exercise where you rather observe the company culture, operations, processes, objectives, and expectations.

I couldn’t recommend the third option enough! For the first week at least, manifesting yourself into anything but a competent, compliant member of the company and team, probably won’t work well in your favour. You will probably also be isolated since first impressions are everything, not only in your job interview, but also amongst your colleagues and peers.

You only have to watch the very first episode of each Survivor season to realise that the majority of the first-voted-out contestants were given the boot because they tried to start the game with all guns blazing, taking on leadership roles without first trying to understand the dynamics of the group, and without earning the trust and respect of their peers first. Same applies to the work place.

Be observational during your first week in a new job, and see how your peers interact. Interact socially, but professionally, and make friends. Once you identify the company culture, you will be able to see how you fit in, who you get on with, and where you can add value.

How did they treat you when you started? Did HR and your line manager make you feel welcome, or were you made to feel ignored and deprioritized? At the end of the day, your career learning curve and capacity for growth within the role, is hinged on the ability and willingness of the employer to provide adequate resources help you grow.

Just as first impressions are important on a personal level, the same goes for the way a company treats their new employees. If you were made to feel welcome, and valued by the organization, before starting the new role, then rest assured you’ll have a higher likelihood of long term commitment to that company.

Learn how the company operates, the internal policies and procedures, but more importantly, identify where you’re able to add the most value. You won’t truly know how to make an impact unless you observe and identify where to make an impact. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, especially not in your first week of work, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes, because you have at least a month’s leeway before you start shaking off the ‘new employee’ tag.

Expectations are important, both from the company’s point of view and from yours. You’re not expected to bring earth-shattering innovations to the table in your first week, but you are expected to pay full attention in each of the first week training sessions. In the same vein, you don’t expect to the job to be all jelly beans and gum drops, but you do expect a positive, happy work environment, so the first week is a great time to evaluate the company you just started working for, to see if you would in fact be happy working there.

Enjoy your first week in a new job, and learn as much as you can, not only about your department and role, but also how the company operates. Adopting a larger picture will only help you develop at a quicker pace, because you will not only learn where to add value in your own role, but also for the company at large. Align your own objectives with the goals of the organization, and this can only put you in good stead, because it shows macro thinking, initiative, and shows that you are management material.

If you have a great idea regarding strategy, innovation, or company direction, then show initiative and let top management know in an email, but please for the love of Diy My Design’s CV resume templates, don’t do this in your first week!

You are expected to bring ideas to the table, but don’t get ahead of yourself. Crawl in through the company’s doors before you walk in (not literally of course!). Scan your work landscape like a hawk on the hunt, only swooping in to make an impact when the ideal time is right. Until then, observe and prepare, adjust, understand, and ask questions.

Ask as many questions as you can. Not only does this show initiative and a willingness to learn, but you’ll get on top of the job before you know it!

If you’re still looking for work, make sure to have a gander at how to write a CV resume in 6 easy steps and how to nail a successful job interview.

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