Career Development

Tips for Starting a New Job

When you start a new job, there are several steps you should take to make a good impression in your new environment. From arriving early on the first day to making a new professional development plan within your first few months, the following suggestions will help you succeed in almost any new job. Read this article for tips on how to start a new job successfully.

How to succeed in a new job

Follow these tips to succeed in a new job:

1. Prepare all the paperwork in advance

Reach out to your new manager or human resources contact in advance of your first day to see if they have suggestions for anything specific you can do to prepare. This could include paperwork you can fill out in advance, specific identification documents you will need to bring with you and reading material to help you learn more about the company. 

Make sure that you confirm with your manager or HR department what your start date is and what time you should arrive on the first day. 

2. Check the dress code for your workplace

If you are not sure what the office dress code is, check with your HR contact or manager before you begin. If you are still unsure, you can dress more conservatively until you get a better sense of the office culture. It is better to be slightly overdressed on your first day than to be underdressed. Make sure you have at least a week’s worth of appropriate outfits to wear, and select your first day’s outfit the night before.

3. Plan to arrive early for your first day

Arriving early on the first day shows that you are responsible and prepared. Leave your house in the morning with plenty of time to arrive 10 or 15 minutes before your official start time. If you hit an unexpected traffic jam or have an issue with public transportation, you can still arrive on time.  

If you are not sure exactly how long your commute will take, try practicing it in advance.

4. Ask your manager to introduce you to colleagues

During your first few weeks on the job, get to know your new coworkers, both on your immediate team and across the company. Though you may be able to introduce yourself to colleagues you will be working with regularly, you might ask your manager to introduce you to people you should know in other areas of the company.

5. Get to know your colleagues on a personal level

As you work with colleagues, you’ll be able to get to know them more personally, as the early days of a new job are a good time to begin establishing rapport. Your office’s social activities may be one way to do this, but even if you don’t wish to take part in these, your first few weeks on the job can be a good window for getting to know your colleagues in more relaxed, personal settings.

6. Communicate with your direct supervisor

Your first few weeks on the job may be a good time to set expectations for how you will interact with your manager over the course of your job. Learn from your supervisor how they would like to communicate, and share your preferred communication style with them. 

Ideally, your supervisor will lay all of this out for you within your first few days at work, but don’t wait too long for them to do so. Being proactive will establish a positive rapport and demonstrate your professionalism and commitment.

As the first weeks and months go by, remember to stay in touch with your manager and communicate the status of your projects. Listen carefully to your manager’s directions, and ask for input when needed or when questions come up. It may also be worthwhile to chat with a few coworkers to learn more about your supervisor’s leadership style and expectations. 

7. Create a professional development plan

After you’ve become comfortable with your job, create a new professional development plan. This will outline clear goals and objectives for the next steps in your career.

Think about the skills you would like to improve on. Consult with your human resources department and colleagues to find out which certifications and experiences might best advance your career.

8. Ask questions and listen to the answers

The most important tip is to ask questions whenever you have them. Take the time to listen and respond to the advice of your supervisor and colleagues. If you are not sure who to ask about something, check with your supervisor or your HR department.

Following these steps when starting a new job will help you make a good impression, build rapport with your colleagues and supervisor and advance your career.