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Your First Month on the Job

The first month of any new job is an extension of the interview process. Both you (the new hire) and the company are still assessing each other, so your behavior will determine how successful you are during the first thirty days. Make the right impression by following these tips:

Observe

Every company has its own culture---specific values, beliefs and habits that guide employee behavior. Observe how people communicate, what procedures are followed, the different working styles and then adjust your behavior accordingly. No matter the company size, people dynamics are a major component in how people get hired, promoted and the overall day-to-day experience at work.

Ask Questions

Soak in as much information as possible! Understand how things are done and why. Don’t get worried about asking too many questions, it’s better to clarify an issue right away than to find yourself struggling to get answers later, when everybody expects you to be self-sufficient. Set up a meeting with your supervisor to establish what he/she believes success will look like in the first month, three months and six months. During this period, take notes, create follow-up questions, areas to research and highlight any next steps you need to take in order to learn the ropes.  

Network

Make it a goal to meet a new person at work every day during your first month. Take the initiative to say hello in the elevator or after a meeting. Also, it’s a good idea to ask a colleague to lunch who you feel is a good performer, so you can learn more about his or her success. Building connections will help you learn more about the company beyond your role and make you better prepared to contribute and succeed at the workplace.

Be Respectful

Don’t get caught up in office politics! If anyone starts a non-professional conversation, avoid the topic by saying you are not in the position to comment and change the subject immediately.

It’s also important to be respectful of everyone in the organization, regardless of their position. Be fully present during conversations at work. For example, people take notice if you are constantly checking emails or texting on your phone and are not giving him/her your full attention.  

Show Passion and Enthusiasm

Convey that you are truly interested in the work that you do! Always have an elevator pitch ready where you can speak about your work history and your motivation for joining the company.

Remember to smile often, breathe deep, and shake off any initial mistakes. You’re learning, just like everybody else!

With the above tips in mind, the first 30 days with your new company will not only fly by, but will serve as a solid foundation upon which you can build your career.

“It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it”.
-John Wooden

Categories: Miscellaneous

About the author

Kaitlin Schafer

Kaitlin Schafer is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.