Do you have the new job jitters?
That anticipation period between getting the offer and starting a new job can be nerve wracking. While it’s important to use this time for things like relaxing and taking a well-needed break (particularly if you’re transitioning from one job to another, or have been pounding the pavement for a while), it’s equally important to prepare for your new gig.
Doing these three things will help soothe those nerves – and make your first day on the job a breeze.
1. Get to know your new boss and team
For most people, the first day on a new job is a whirlwind of introductions. On top of learning all the new job’s responsibilities, you’ll also be meeting dozens of new people – and trying desperately to remember their names and job titles.
You may have already met your new boss in the interview, but taking the time to get to know her before your start date will help smooth that first week.
Take the initiative to reach out to your new boss before your start date. Meet him for coffee, or set up a phone call to get to know each other. This is a great opportunity to get briefed the big projects you’ll be tackling when you arrive.
Ask if you can meet your new team ahead of time for an informal lunch or coffee date, or just exchange a few emails. This will help you approach your first day armed with knowledge and allies, having established a firm foundation for how you’ll work together in the future.
2. Learn everything you can about your new company and role
If you aced the interview, you probably did a great job of reading up on your new organization beforehand. Now’s the time to start digging in.
Follow the organization’s social media feeds, read through past press releases, and do a Google search to find current news. Ask your boss-to-be about upcoming projects and organizational priorities, and pay special attention to all the aspects that pertain to your new role.
See if you can get your hands on any reading material – like company reports, project updates, or meeting briefs – that will help you hit the ground running during your first week. Ask your boss to recommend any industry journals, websites, books, or other information materials it would help to review before your first day.
This is especially crucial if you’re shifting gears into a new industry or role. Like when tackling any new challenge, you need to take stock of what you need to know, then ramp yourself up the learning curve as quickly as possible.
3. Set your goals
All this research should have given you a good idea of what will be required of you in the next few months. This will probably include projects you know you’ll need to take on, as well as ideas for improving on skills you know you’ll need to master.
Break your goals into 30-, 60-, and 90-day plans, then write them down to help you commit. In the first month, you’ll probably be learning the organization’s way of doing things, and how to work well with your team. In the second month, you may have innovations you’d like to bring to the table, or changes you’d like to make to processes. By month three, you’ll hopefully be running on all cylinders. Now’s the time to start thinking about bigger goals for your career and the organization.
You can always tweak your plans after the first couple of weeks on the job – but just don’t go into a new job without an idea of where you want it to take you.
You set your own success
Whether or not you succeed at your new job depends on you. Acing the interview and landing the job is a huge accomplishment, but it’s only the first step in excelling in your new role.
The most important thing is to prepare to your fullest, and go in with an attitude of doing the best you can.
What advice do you have for people starting a new job? Do you have any pre-job rituals that you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comments!