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“HOW TO” survive the first week at a new job?

In the series of sharing some tips (out of my personal experiences)  here are a few pointers for enduring the first week at a new job. It all starts with the first day – the day of joining. No matter if you are a fresh graduate or a senior management person – everyone is anxious about the first week at work. The preceding day to the joining, you keep everything aside and prepare for the next day. You plan to devise the first day as a productive and make the best impression in the manager’s as well other people’s mind.

However, it is very unlikely to get hold of everything related to your job description in a week’s time. The planning for the time has to be done in a way to ensure the seamless transition into new job. The preparation of first day has to be completely reverse of panicking and speculating. It has to be calm and comforting so that you can be up fresh next morning and head towards a new start. Let’s look at some pointers, which can make the first few days at new job manageable and in most cases enjoyable as well!

The JOINING DAY:

Do your homework:

Read the letters shared by the new employer thoroughly and follow the instructions. You must be required to adhere to some directives in terms of documents to be carried, dress code at work, time of reaching the office and the schedule of the day. Ensure that you do not miss anything which is of importance. If in case, you do not have all the necessary documents required to be furnished on day 1; do make a note of that before hand and share with the person you meet the next day at the time of joining.

The travel to work:

Make sure that you reach the office on time for your very first day at your new job as the first impression is a lasting (if not last) impression. Leave your house a bit earlier to allow yourself adequate time for any kind of trouble during the journey. Use map tools to make sure that you know your route to work one day prior to your first day. It will also be very good to reach your location before your due time and, in arriving early, you will able to refresh yourself with a cup of coffee or tea that will enhance and refresh your mental skills. This will also help you make a good impression on your new employers.

Know whom to ask for:

Make sure that you know the name of the person and correct pronunciation of his/her name you have to ask for at reception. Be careful about time-lines as a small confusion or misunderstanding at this stage can make you panic in front of a receptionist who may not be helpful. It’s always advisable to keep your recruiter aware of your whereabouts since he/she can coordinate for you from within the new organization. Also give a call to the concerned person whom you are to meet on the first day to inform that you have reached the office.

Respect the security procedure:

The supervisors of bigger organizations take security very seriously and they may command passport size photographs from you or may have their own services. Some organizations may assign a security officer with the duty to take photographs and later give you an identity card to which you must have with you while employed in the organization. Therefore, it is obligatory to be equipped for these errands, as your ability to complete these tasks will serve to create a long enduring impression with the organization. Do not get hassled if you are made to wait for some time at the main door to process the access and ID card or if your bags are frisked. This is a normal security process to ensure safety and security of people and property.

The WEEK ahead:

Personal touch at workplace:

There is a trend in employees to bring one‘s personal possessions with them to their work place. This helps increase devotion to their work and gives them motivation in their own sense. Though I never tried that, there are many people who like to have some of their personal affects at work with them to remind them who they are and where they belong.  If you also feel connected with some personal touch at the workplace; do carry your personal stuff with you. It is an easy way to feel relaxed. I do have a personal BLACK coffee mug though, which is well recognized as MY CUP in the organization!

Meeting people:

In the first few days of your job, the main objective is to leave an impression that will play an important role in flourishing your career in the future. Since being new at work is a different and difficult task, you would look like an amnesia patient who does not recognize anyone due to loss of his memory. You would be unfamiliar with the workplace environment and you have to tackle all matters with the best possible efficiency of your personality and treat your coworkers politely. You might be someone else in personal life (introvert, aggressive, talkative, shy, reserve), but you have to adhere to these tips in order to survive the first week’s barrier.

Make notes:

You should memorize the faces, names, and role/designations of your colleagues. You should be observant and try to study the nature and mood of people around at your workplace. If you forget someone’s name or call some other name initially, it will be ignored by people. However, if you repeat the same mistake after a couple of weeks, it might work against you and might affect your relationship building efforts. If you are attentive, you will observe that after a couple of weeks on job, you may become aware of every person at your work place.

Know your organization:

These days, most of the organizations have an internal Knowledge Management System, which has detailed information on Organization structure, business model, important people, role chart, policies and procedures etc. Do ensure that you spend substantial amount of time of your first week in gaining as much information possible on these aspects. This is for your own benefit since you would not want to be in a situation where you do not adhere to some policy or process just for the reason that you were not aware of the same. Ignorance is not at all a BLISS in this case!

Stick to your role and responsibilities:

You should be well aware of your job responsibilities. If you are continuously given some other work to do on regularly basis for a few days; have a meeting with your manager to clarify your responsibilities. Additionally, have this meeting early before others take advantage of you in doing their work. You are a responsible for those activities for which you are hired and not for other‘s work. There will be people who would try to exploit your skills to get their work done by you. Tackle this in a subtle manner by explaining your role to the person and share that you regret not being able to help.

Make friends:

This is the most important part of the first few days at work. Majority of the people who quit jobs in first week of joining itself find it lonesome and disconnected. You spend a substantial amount of time at workplace and if you do not have anyone to spend some relaxing time with, it becomes all the more difficult to survive. In first few days, you will have time to go for tea at the café or the recreation room. Use this time to connect with people at the workplace. You can connect the most with your teammates and can have good discussions over lunch table. You can exchange ideas and obtain important and valuable inputs about your work that can put you on a path of success. You must spare some time and spend it with the most experienced team member at your workplace, in this way, you will gain information about various things that are taking place within your organization. Additionally, you must look at the notice board daily in order to become more familiar with all the things happening in the organization.

Be ready to introduce yourself:

When you get employed, the next step will be to introduce yourself in person to many people in various meetings and forums. You have to tell about yourself in terms of your designation and your nature of work in the department. When introducing yourself, you should have full knowledge of what you will say and be confident of the information you provide.  Being hesitant while speaking will create a bad first impression, so you have to be confident and straightforward in answering every question posed by others.

After a few days – Be Cautious:

At the end of your first week, everybody will be eager to know you personally, so you have to be very careful when talking about your personal life in the new place as you can’t trust everyone. You have to take some time to analyze who is trustworthy and who is not. You should always be alert not to defy any rule or regulation, never breach any security code and never put yourself in a position where your actions might attract reprimanding by the authorities. That’s the last thing you would like to do to yourself!

These were a few tips on spending first few days at a new workplace and hopefully will help those who are wondering about do’s & don’ts and are nervous about a new job.

Good luck!!

4 comments

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  1. nilesh

    Excellent article …..

    1. Manav Lalotra

      Thanks Nilesh.

  2. Abhishek JAin

    Very good post Manav… Its really very helpful for freshers who will join their jobs soon..

  3. Naveen Dogra

    Dear Manav,

    It was great to read your refined thoughts.
    Great keep up the good work.

    Naveen Dogra

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