Starting a new job is a major life transition. A new job is a new realm of possibility and it sets your life on a new trajectory. In a way, when you start a new job you create a new identity for yourself.
Work does not define men, but it does dictate how we spend much of our time and earn money. It also influences our future and our professional life goals. Whether you are entering the workforce for the first time, starting a new career path, or beginning at a new company, there are certain ways you can posture yourself to ensure a successful new beginning.
If you are starting a new job, remember to be a sponge by absorbing information, taking notes, researching the company, and listening more than you speak. Make sure you research the company’s culture, benefits, reporting structure, and expectations. When you first start the job, make sure you are dressed for success, and plan out your commute so you always arrive a little early and worry-free.
The start of a new job or new career is an exciting time, but it can also cause nervousness and anxiety as you navigate this major life transition. While there is no cure for the first day of work jitters, there are lots of ways you can start off on the right foot and present yourself in this new role. Below are 20 important tips to follow for any man starting a new job. Following these guidelines will help start you off on the right foot with tools for success and properly managed expectations.
1. Plan Ahead So You Are On Time And Stress-Free Each Morning
Before you even show up to your first day you have an important job to do – show up on time. Every employee has his or her own unique morning commute, but everyone is expected to be on time. Ideally, you should arrive at work with plenty of time to find parking, walk to your work area, and then gather your thoughts before starting your day.
In some cases, this means leaving time for variables like traffic, parking, or hiccups with public transportation. Getting up early might be tedious at first, but it will feel better than starting your day with the high stress that stems from a fear of being late.
2. Research The Company And The Role Before Your Start
If you were prepared for your job interview then you likely did research on the company you now work for. But once you get the position, a deep dive is always a good idea. Learn the history of the company, its mission, and how you fit into its mission. If you received materials before your first day, print them, read them, and highlight the essential parts. This will prepare you for your new job, and also show your boss how organized and diligent you are.
3. Come Into The Role Humble And Hopeful
A positive and optimistic attitude goes a long way when you first start a job. A can-do attitude is always appreciated, and it is a great way to show you are a team player on day one. Having a humble approach is also a good idea. Even if you think you are over-qualified or have a wealth of knowledge to offer, it is always best to come in humble – it will pay off in the long run.
4. Be A Sponge, Not A Know-It-All
Just as it is crucial to be humble, it is just as critical to not come off as a know-it-all. This includes interrupting your boss or trying to show off how much research you have done on the role, or how much relevant experience you have. Sure, experience is great, but the start of a job is all about absorbing information. Regardless of what you think you know about the job, the odds are the first weeks there will be an overwhelming amount of new information thrown your way. Take the time to absorb this like a sponge. You can show off your relevant skills later on.
5. Understand And Manage Expectations
It might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes it can be hard to understand exactly what is expected of you when you start a new job. Make sure during orientation and throughout the new-hire process that you have a clear understanding of what is expected of you. Once you understand the expectations you can learn how to meet and manage them.
6. Learn And Embrace The Company’s Culture
Researching the company’s history and goals is one thing, but understanding the work culture at your new job is a different and equally important thing to understand when you start a new job. The work environment, goals of the work culture, and how you can fit into it are crucial when you start a job. Make sure the company’s beliefs and culture are something you agree with, as it is essential you embrace this company culture if you want to succeed and be happy in the role.
7. Come Prepared To Take Notes
Note-taking may not be required during your first few days, or during your orientation, but it is something you should absolutely do. Whether you are bringing a pen and notebook, a tablet, or a laptop, you should have easy access to a way to take notes. Note-taking shows initiative, and it shows you value people’s time – as it means you are likely going to ask fewer questions moving forward. Coming prepared with note-taking materials also makes you look good on your first day.
8. Understand How Success Is Measured At Your Company
Do your best to obtain quantifiable expectations about your role. If possible, know the numbers, goals, and expectations you must meet and surpass in order to get promoted or receive a raise or bonus. After all, what gets measured gets managed – so be aware of what relevant numbers are expected of you to grow in your role.
9. Memorize The Company’s Organizational Chart (Especially Those Above You)
When you start your new job, take a long look at the company’s organizational chart. In order to make a good first impression it is important to know who is directly above you, and who works by your side. It also helps to know who your own boss reports to. After all, making your boss look good in front of his or her boss is always a good thing.
10. Choose The Right Clothing For A Great First Impression
Another important planning measure you should take before your first day is procuring the proper attire for your new job. You want to look fresh, clean, and professional. It is also important to fit within the dress code. Make sure upon being hired you understand the dress code for the job. It also helps to take a look at how others are dressed when you go into the company for your interview.
11. Come Up With An Elevator Pitch For Yourself
When you are new at a company, you have a rare chance to define who you are as an employee. In a sense, you can “brand” yourself however you want. Take some time before you start to think of how you want to come off in this new role, and where you want to be in the future in this company. Once you know this information, craft a short spiel about yourself, so you are ready to talk clearly about where you see yourself in the future, and how you fit into the company’s culture and future.
12. Get To Know Your Coworkers (And Their Names)
Having lots of ambition is important when you start a new job, but so is being kind and personable. One of the best ways to show you are personable and care about your coworkers is to get to know them. Consider sitting with some coworkers at lunch and sharing a bit about yourself and what brought you to this new role. Most importantly, do your best to learn your coworkers’ names sooner than later.
13. Learn About Your Boss
One key to having a great relationship with your boss when you start a new job is to get to know your boss. Learn what your boss loves and what he or she can’t stand. Do a bit of research on his or her previous roles, as this will help give you a better picture of who he or she is as a boss. Having a good understanding of who your boss is will help create a quality work relationship with your superior.
14. Encourage And Welcome Constructive Feedback
When you start a new job you will make mistakes. This is normal. Mistakes are also frustrating, because, like most men, you want to do everything right the first time. There will be times when you receive feedback In fact, most good employers will give you feedback after 30, 60, and 90 days of employment. Use any and all feedback when you start a new job as a tool and a gift. Constructive feedback will help shape you into a great fit for the role.
15. Resist The Temptation Of Gossip
If you work in an office, especially a large office with a lunch room, then gossip is inevitable. Gossiping about coworkers, or your boss, might be tempting. After all, it might feel like a good way to get close to co-workers. But you should always resist the temptation to gossip. This can lead down a dark and slippery path, and more likely than not you will end up putting your foot in your mouth. Remember that nothing good comes from gossip, but plenty of bad does.
16. Listen More Than You Talk Outloud
One good rule to have when you start a new job is to listen a lot more than you talk. Listening is the best way to learn more about your job. Further, talking more than you listen gives off a negative first impression, as it can make you look like a know-it-all or someone who isn’t interested in learning. So take the time to consciously make sure you listen more than you speak.
17. Thoroughly Review And Understand Benefits and Payroll
Remember that even if you love your new job, you are there to get paid. When you start a new job be sure you know everything about all the benefits associated with the job, as well as payroll information. This includes knowing when you get paid, what is deducted from your paycheck, if and when medical coverage kicks in, and other benefits information. Knowing this when you start can help you plan, and even save you lots of money in the long run.
18. Find A Mentor Or A Way To Be An Apprentice
One great way to grow in a new position and to get to know a company is by becoming an apprentice or finding a mentor. Finding someone to show you the ropes, and guide you through new tasks is a great asset. If you form a close professional bond with a co-worker who has been in his role a long time, or with one of your superiors, see if this kind of relationship is something you two can foster. Mentor and apprenticeship relationships can have profound and life-long positive impacts for both individuals in some cases.
19. Read Through And Ask Questions About Policies And Procedures
When you start a new job, you might be counting down the hours and days until orientation is over. Sure, orientation can at times be boring, and unless you work in human resources, it does not resemble what your actual work days will look like.
Still, when you receive documents and information about policies, procedures, and any official documents, pay close attention. You want to make sure you are always following company policy, and never putting your job at risk simply because you didn’t understand the rules. If you are unclear – ask a question to get clarification.
20. Remember That Perfection Is An Idea, Not A Reality
Lastly, when you start a new job, you want to be the most perfect man for the role. You likely dream of making no mistakes and quickly moving up in the company. While this is a fantastic dream to have, you should remember that perfection is not a reality.
No matter how great you are at your job, there is no such thing as perfect. So embrace the imperfections, as this is what makes you unique. In fact, it is often within these imperfections and slight flaws that your individuality can shine. As long as you follow the above steps, and do your best to thrive in your new job, then the sky is the limit for your opportunity.