When you’re on the job search for a while, the feeling of finding that new job is hard to even put into words. A massive weight has been lifted off your shoulders and you regain a sense of pride and accomplishment. As good as that feeling is, it will soon be overshadowed by those ‘new job nerves’.
It’s completely normal to be a bit anxious about starting a new job. New coworkers, new boss, new responsibilities—it can be a daunting prospect. As much as you know in the back of your mind that you’ll soon adjust and those nerves will disappear, the first week is a hectic time where you try to set yourself up right in your new job. Take some of that stress away with these tips for the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of your first week at a new job.
DO demonstrate your value.
Theoretically you got this job by selling yourself as a valuable asset to the company. You successfully explained what you could do for the, if hired and why you’ll do it better than all the other candidates. Now it’s time to show them that wasn’t all talk. Get started immediately showing the type of promise that won the employers over in the first place. Did you mention a special project you’ll like to oversee? Get the ball rolling on that. Formation of new committee? Changes, updates or streamlining? No need to wait on that stuff. Hit the ground running and leave no doubt that they chose the right person for the job.
DON’T bury yourself in work.
While you should certainly start strong with your work, there’s no need to burn yourself out. The first week should be a time when you’re getting a feel for things and seeing how everything works. If you are just keeping your head down and plowing through work, you’ll be putting yourself at a disadvantage. Don’t set an unreasonable pace for your work right out of the gate. Do the work you need to do and take everything in as you do.
DO learn as much as possible.
While we certainly don’t want to downplay the work involved in the first week of a new job, we do want to stress that this is a very important learning period. Of course you’ll be coming into the job with your own knowledge, but now is the time to get a handle on all the different moving parts of the job. You may think that you can pick things up at later times, but it’s likely that after the first week, you’ll really be thrown in the thick of it and may not have the opportunity you have now.
DON’T be afraid to ask questions.
Some people get it in their head that when you get hired on to a new job, you’re expected to know everything immediately and not knowing some aspects of the job could lose you that job in a flash. This is simply not true. Sure, you’ll be coming into the job with the knowledge that wo you the position, but you’ll need to ask the occasional question throughout your first week. it’s completely normal and completely expectable. You don’t have a limit for how many questions you’re allowed so don’t be shy.
DO make the most of break times.
Speaking of being shy, the first little while at work can be intimidating in terms of getting to know your coworkers. Work through any social awkwardness and put yourself out there to meet new people. The best way to do this is to introduce yourself during the break time in the office. That means don’t stay in your office during lunch, trying to get some extra work done—go to the break room or out to lunch with coworkers and start to form relationships.
DON’T take any ‘downtime’.
As you can see, there’s a lot to be done in the first week at a new job, so as much as you shouldn’t burn yourself out on focusing on one thing, you also don’t have the luxury of taking it easy. If you get ahead in your work, don’t treat yourself to a little quiet time, there’s still plenty of valuable things you could be doing with your time. By the end of the week, you’ll likely be exhausted, but you’ll feel accomplished having a better grasp of your new job.