It’s an exciting time when you are about to start working at a new job. You open yourself up to new opportunities, relationships, and avenues that may not have been possible previously. But a new job also brings a bit of anxiety, especially because of the pressure to make a good impression on your new boss and co-workers.
You can do just that; you just need to be prepared!
Take it from the chief human resources officer at tech giant IBM, Nickle LaMoreaux. She has hired and onboard thousands of new joiners over the course of her 21-year-long career in various roles, so she knows a thing or two about it.
LaMoreaux says that the first 3 months on the job are crucial when setting an image for yourself, developing relationships, and establishing your responsibilities and boundaries. Here are 3 ideas LaMoreaux shared with CNBC Make It Three for your first day, week, and month of your new job:
Use Lunchtime Wisely
Networking is of utmost importance at your workplace, especially when you’re the new guy there. The best way to get your head around things like the workplace culture, office politics, and the future of the company is to talk to employees who’ve been there longer than you.
Having said that, one of the easiest ways to network, or make new friends, at a new job is to invite different colleagues to lunch over the course of the first few days. Casual conversation over a meal can help you learn highly beneficial things. You can ask your colleagues for advice or about projects they’re working on. Talking to coworkers who are on the same project as you will help you understand your role better and have an ally for when you may need help in the future. Of course, it’s important not to make everything about yourself – make sure to offer them assistance if needed as well!
“These conversations give you an opportunity to get to know your colleagues on a personal level and ask questions about other things going on in the organization that you’re curious about,” says LaMoreaux.
People of the past believed that you should never reveal your weaknesses, but that culture is now being left exactly there – in the past. Nowadays, knowing when to ask for help is seen as an asset in an employee. And why not? It shows that you are willing to learn from others and that you are trying your best to get the job done right.
“More companies are moving toward a culture where feedback is valued and encouraged,” she says. “In some cases, it’s even expected that employees swap feedback on a regular basis.”
Once you familiarize yourself with the workplace and the people you’re working with closely, don’t be hesitant to share about or ask for help with a task that you’re unsure about. You can also ask for direct feedback. For instance, you could ask your manager to give you some pointers on how to improve your presentation after you’ve given one.
Be Vocal About Your Ideas
It can be intimidating to speak up during a meeting with a room full of people, even if you’ve worked at the company for some time. It’s harder as the new guy, but it would be a lost opportunity if you stayed mum. LaMoreaux says this is one of the biggest challenges that she helps new employees navigate. “You may be the least experienced person on the team, but that’s also your superpower: You’re bringing new energy and a fresh perspective on the business,” she says.
So, the next time that there’s a brainstorming session or a team meeting, don’t be hesitant to raise your hand and share your ideas. If you get a positive response, you can take it further by sending your manager a follow-up email after the meeting with a fleshed-out outline of what you shared. This is sure to leave an impression and mark you as a great asset to the company!