Category: Career Advice
Created on Thursday, 10 February 2011 11:03
Written by Winston Wong
Starting on a new job is like attending the first day of school. You are thrilled to make new friends but one misstep and you may be banished to the uncool clique, or worse, treated like an outcast. Here are some tips to fit in fast and well. Be Prepared
For fresh graduates embarking on their first job, you may need to adjust your sleeping habits. At least during this important first few weeks, you will want to be as fresh as possible in the morning as it can be both mentally and physically draining.
Refresh your Skills
One of the first challenges you will meet would be learning new technologies and skills like giving presentations. Or you may have to reemploy those skills that you have not touched for a long time. If possible, find out what kind of softwares you will need to use or the soft skills you may require, and familiarise yourself with them before even entering the office.
First Impressions Count
The first few weeks at work is when your boss and colleagues make long-term impressions of you and you would want to be on your best behaviour. Things like punctuality as well as your enthusiasm and confidence level will affect the magnitude of assignments you will be given and the colleagues you will be buddies with.
Extend your hand and introduce yourself to your colleagues and those near you. Instead of waiting for them to invite you for lunch, ask someone you feel comfortable with if you could join them.
These are also the people you could ask if you have any questions related to work. But strictly no gossiping!
Lie Low, Observe and Take Note of Work Ethics
You may be the reigning fashionista or the life of the party at your previous job, but it is best to err on the safe side and lie low until you get a better sense of the company culture. You wouldn't want to be a target of jealousy…
Pay attention to the company culture and conform to it as much as you can. For example, if the dress code is generally casual, you wouldn't want to stick out like a sore thumb. Also, watch out for nonverbal cues like if small talk after lunch or idling in the pantry while making coffee is frowned upon. Don't break these non-written rules!
Update your Boss
Verbally or not, it is good practice to let your boss or supervisor know what you have been up to – or basically that you have been doing your job – on a weekly basis since he wouldn't have the time to keep a watch on you.
Don't Rock the Boat
Excitement from taking a new job may cause one to suggest new initiatives and improvements. But certain things may have been left the way they are perhaps for a reason so ask before you bring it up to the big boss (who doesn't have to do the legwork) – and end up with a bunch of angry minion colleagues.
Last but not the least, go mentally prepared by keeping an open mind and welcoming new ideas. Be positive and refrain from saying too many of "I don't know" and "I haven't done that before". Try within reasonable limits!You might also like: Resign with Grace
, How to Mingle and Make Small Talk