Five top tips to hitting the ground running in a new role

Starting a new job? The first days in a new role can often be daunting, no matter how old you are, or how experienced you have become.

Unless you are taking a post at a remote arctic monitoring station, chances are you will have a whole host of new faces to familiarise yourself with, names to learn, and office politics to navigate.

So how can you set about ensuring that you stay focused on what’s important in these early days… which ultimately comes down to impressing your new boss and getting on with your new team?

These 5 tips should help you feel prepared and able to put your best foot forward:

1. Cover the basics
Taking the time to ask questions about the basic things in advance of your start date will give you more headspace on your first day to be fully engaged in the induction process.

For example: how can you access the building; where should you park; who should you ask for when you arrive; is there anything you need to bring or prepare in advance; what are the timings for the day; what’s the dress code; what facilities are available for lunch; and what is the office phone number. The last thing you want is to be unsure of anything when you are already likely to be feeling nervous and a bit flustered.

Also be sure to get those (inevitably annoying) little admin tasks completed in advance if possible. Submit any paperwork requested by HR, read the employee handbook and familiarise yourself with key contacts.

2. Write it down!
The first week in a new job can be an information overload. You’re dying to get your teeth into the work, but the induction process and various meetings (essentials, mind you!) are taking place first.

Even if you would normally credit yourself with an exceptional memory, don’t leave it to chance. We’re often faced with so much information when starting a new role it’s always safest to just WRITE. IT. DOWN. (And, make sure that when you next come to read your notes, they will make sense to you!).

This one is perhaps worth saying again, and so... WRITE. IT. DOWN.

3. Ask questions
There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Asking questions shows your new employer that you’re eager to learn and keen to do well. Better to ask questions now than nod blindly that you’ve understood something, only having to admit the opposite is true later down the line.

That goes for the logistics of the role too. If you aren’t clear on holiday allowance, salary payment dates or the process for submitting expenses, now is the time to get it straight.

4. Make the right impression
Often in the first week, deadlines are few and far between. Take this as an opportunity to demonstrate your diligence by making some well-researched suggestions or contributing your creativity in a brainstorm. Bouncing ideas off your new colleagues is a sure fire way to develop your working relationships and establish your place on the team.

5. Finally, don’t panic…
It’s not uncommon to feel a little bewildered and unsure during the early days in a new position. In some instances you might be thrown straight in at the deep-end which, depending on your learning style, can be an overwhelming prospect.

In others, you might have to take part in a two week induction programme, leaving you feeling frustrated and wanting to get on with what you were hired to do.

One way that you can combat this is to focus on the future: plan in your mind what you want your business objectives and personal development plan to be. If you’re feeling overwhelmed this will help you rationalise and focus, and if you’re feeling frustrated you’ll benefit from being able to set yourself goals to keep in mind which will aid your engagement level during the induction process.

Ultimately, you have gone to all of the effort to ‘win’ this position, so trust in yourself that you have made the right decision and that once the inevitable slog of getting past the induction is done and dusted you will be rewarded!

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