Wednesday, October 8, 2014

13 Tips to Survive Your First Week at a New Job by Liana Pistell

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1. Sleep at least 8 hours per night. You will not crush your first week at work without proper rest. It’s that simple. Your brain won’t absorb new information as quickly, you’ll look tired when meeting people, and most importantly, you won’t be able to bring your best self to work everyday. Remember how important the first impression is. Don’t mess it up because you need to watch the next episode of your Netflix series.
2. Learn the dress code and follow it. You should look the part to play the part.
3. Do this after you meet someone new: (a) send them a “nice to meet you” message, and (b) jot down their name, where you met them, their title, team/department, what that department does, and who their boss is. This will help you understand how people across the company work together, not to mention remember people’s names. Capture as much as you can on paper so that you can refer back to it later.
4. Set up meetings with project managers/team leads within the first two weeks to learn what their team does. These conversations, however brief, will help you better understand your company and colleagues’ objectives. They will also help you start thinking about how you can be valuable to your coworkers.
5. If you work at a large company, get a copy of your department/company's organizational chart and review it every day. Let the information sink into your brain.
6. Ask your boss: "What does success look like for me in this role?" This way you’ll know what’s expected, and you can start thinking about how to deliver.
7. Invite colleagues to lunch. If they take you up on it, great. If not, people will learn that you’re friendly, and you’ll know the drill to plan future lunches accordingly.
8. Call one of your personal cheerleaders by day #3. In your first week, you'll make many newbie mistakes and at times feel out of your depth. This is normal. My fix: phone a friend or family member who will remind you that you're awesome.
9. Keep a running list of questions in one document or notepad, and next to each question write down who you think can answer it. Make the questions clear and concise so that you can shoot them off quickly and get direct answers.
10. When people ask you how it’s going, be honest. Everyone at work will ask you how it’s going, and your tendency will be to say “Great!!” with a Cheshire Cat smile. Avoid this approach. Everyone knows it’s hard to start a job; they’ve been in your excited/nervous new person shoes before. Whoever hired you hired a real person and not a machine. So try being authentic instead. Tell them it’s going well and mention some of your pain points. For example: It’s going great but I’m still trying to learn all the acronyms!
11. Find every opportunity to meet people in person. Walk around your workplace. If possible, stop by someone's desk to ask a question instead of sending an email.
12. Say thank you to the people who help you along the way. 
13. Smile. It’s easy to forget to smile as you're focusing on new tasks and braving information overload. But you’re excited to be there, so look like it!

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