Getting the most out of your first few weeks on the job

a calendar with Day 1 underlined

You’ve got your new email address, branded coffee mug and security card. Now what? Once you have passed through the recruiting courtship and accepted a new job, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and jump into your new role.  Starting off on the right foot is critical to building the momentum you and your new employer need to be happy with this relationship.  Below are a few items to keep in mind after your first few weeks on the job. 

Discovery Zone

You probably gathered some feedback on the culture from the people you interviewed with but there is nothing like experiencing it first hand.  It may take a couple of weeks to learn but there is always a rhythm within an office to figure out.  You should quickly try to get your arms around what’s considered normal start and finish times.  Learn what people typically do at lunch (brown-baggers, in house cafeteria, runners, etc.) and figure out how that works for your lifestyle.  By keeping your eyes and ears open, you’ll discover a lot about what’s considered normal so you can better understand how to integrate into the organization in your first few weeks on the job.  

One example that comes up a lot is related to how organizations handle time out of the office for events with children or family.  Some people get into a groove of dropping off their son or daughter on Tuesdays and coming into the office a little late.  That may or may not fly at your job.  This is the time to build your new routine and find ways to explore the intersection of your new responsibilities with your old schedule and habits. 

Setting up a Checkpoint

Establishing a time to check-in with your new manager is always a good idea.  It’s likely that you will have regular meetings with your new boss but you should consider doing a bit more. In order to showcase what you have done in your early days and invite feedback, you should proactively setup a time with your new manager about 45-50 days out from your start date.  

This shows you are a person who is proactive and confident and most managers appreciate the idea of taking a step back from the day-to-day to get some perspective.  

This also gives you enough time to get a realistic feel for your role, its challenges, how it matches your expectations and identify what you need to be successful.   This session also provides an opportunity for constructive feedback on your efforts.  It will give you both a chance to assure things are working as planned when you came on board.

Starting on the right foot is key to your success.  Remember how much time went into the process of finding a new job and assure that you of to a sound start. In your first few weeks on the job, put time and effort into becoming part of a community, your team, and the organization.


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