13 Expert Tips on How to Start a New Job Successfully
Updated 25 March 2023
When you get a new job, it's important for you to prepare sufficiently to have a good start. To ensure that the rest of your time on the job is enjoyable, you may want to understand what your employer expects of you as a new employee. Knowing what to prioritise during your first weeks in a new office may help you set up a better work environment for yourself. In this article, we look at 13 tips and strategies that can help you start your new job and adapt to a new working environment successfully.
How to start a new job
Here are some tips on how to start a new job:
1. Be early and prepared
Arriving at your desk early gives you time to settle in and get comfortable with the new environment even before your first workday starts. It sets a good impression that you're enthusiastic about your job. Aiming to be early can also give you extra time so you won't be late in case unforeseen circumstances arise.
2. Introduce yourself confidently
This may be the first time you're meeting most of your colleagues. A good first impression is important, as it can affect what your colleagues think of you for the rest of your time in the office. Proactively introducing yourself with confidence gives a strong first impression that you're reliable and approachable, and helps to form connections you may require as you progress in your job.
There can also be many additional benefits to being friendly and confident when interacting with your new colleagues. Having an amicable demeanour makes it more likely that people may help you when you face a difficult problem at work. By being confident, your colleagues may consider your opinions when making decisions.
3. Get to know your colleagues
Asking your colleagues about themselves, such as what they do at work or what their interests are, shows that you care about their opinions. It may also give you insight into fields of work that may be outside of your job scope. Understanding how your colleagues organise their work may give you some tips to excel in your job.
If your colleagues are busy when you first approach them, you can try again later or send them an email asking to meet them. Your colleagues may be happy to share about themselves with an enthusiastic new colleague. You can also ask your team members out for a meal to bond with them and get to know them better since you may be working closely with them.
4. Decorate your desk
You can add some decorations to your desk to make it feel more personal. Having a personalised space can help you feel more relaxed at work and keep you motivated throughout the day. Interesting objects can also be great conversation starters that can improve your relationships with your colleagues. For example, you might have a framed picture of your family members, or you may have a wall art or calendar that reflects one of your hobbies.
5. Be eager to learn
On the first day of your new job, you may be unfamiliar with not only the work but many aspects of the company and the working dynamics. Keeping an open mind and being eager to learn may be one of the best ways for you to quickly adapt to the new working environment. Your colleagues may also help you and offer advice if they see that you're eager to learn.
Colleagues and employers may see it as a sign of respect when you ask questions and request their feedback. It shows that you're willing to seek their expertise and advice. Don't be afraid to apologise for making mistakes, as long as you're quick to learn and can avoid the same errors in the future.
6. Set boundaries with your colleagues and managers
Working hard and proving that you can hand in quality work on time is a great way to impress your employers. Understanding the company policies, such as guidelines regarding overtime work and weekend work, can be useful. You may occasionally choose to help colleagues with their assignments, but you may not want to do this too frequently though. Setting boundaries can thus help you ensure that your employer and other colleagues do not give you more work than you can handle.
7. Have a good work ethic and time management skills
The amount of work you receive may start to increase after your first week at the new job. It's important to keep track of which submissions are due, so that you may submit your work on time. Establishing good time management skills can frame you as a reliable member of the team who is consistently able to produce quality work on time. Building trust between your colleagues and employers this way fosters a positive working environment.
8. Attend office lunches and events
One of the best ways to bond with your colleagues is outside the work setting. Your peers may invite you out to lunch, which can be a great opportunity to relax with them and get to know more about each other. As your colleagues know you better, they may find it easier to trust you as well. Remember to return the favour and ask your colleagues out too, especially if they had previously initiated an outing with you.
Work events can be fun and relaxing. They're usually bigger than colleague lunches and offer you the chance to interact with even more people from both inside and outside of your department. It's a good way to form connections and befriend your colleagues.
9. Dress appropriately for the job
A clean, tidy appearance reflects the respect you have for the job. It can send the message that you're passionate about the work. It may be helpful to note how the staff dressed when you went to the office for the interview. You may learn how to dress accordingly from how formal or informal their dressing was.
10. Settle any administration hiring issues right at the beginning
It's not uncommon for your company to offer you a benefits package. Some of these benefits may require some setup with HR on your part. Thus, it's crucial for you to connect with HR to understand what your benefits package includes and to do the necessary paperwork to ensure you've correctly set up all your benefits. Some topics you might want to discuss include health insurance, sick leave, annual leave and retirement contributions. You may have already discussed this during the interview, but the HR team might need you to sign documents or provide additional information for your employee file.
11. Learn about the office culture
Every community has its own dynamic and culture. Understanding your office's culture helps you integrate more quickly with your peers, such as if there are unspoken agreements or certain ways of performing tasks. If you're familiar with the relationships between your colleagues, you can take extra care to ensure that you maintain healthy relationships with everyone. At the same time, knowing the culture of the office you're working in can help you build a good working relationship with others.
Related: A Guide to Singapore Work Culture
12. Ask for reviews regularly
Employers typically conduct annual employee reviews near the end of the working year. Apart from annual reviews, for your first few months at a new job, it may be beneficial to ask your manager for regular reviews and feedback to ensure that you're on the right track with your progress. Having a plan for your career progress, such as where you envision yourself to be over the next year, can be useful to discuss with your manager as well.
13. Avoid being the first to leave
When you first start a new job, it might be a good idea to wait and see what time your more experienced colleagues might leave, and attempt to do so when they do, if not later than that. Your employer usually pays extra attention to your performance during the first few weeks. Thus, leaving work at the right time can give an employer a better impression of you. Other colleagues may also form a positive impression of you as a hard worker if you aren't always the first to leave.
Related: How to Start a New Job Virtually
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