A new job is an exciting step in your professional journey, but it can also be intimidating because it will be unfamiliar at first. Those emotions should quiet as you grow more accustomed and comfortable in your new position. It may help to proactively set yourself up for success in ways that go beyond a company’s onboarding processes. Doing so can help you focus during your first day, week, and month at a company and settle in with purpose.
Let’s go over how you can acclimate yourself to your new responsibilities, new team, and new company.
Success in your new role can start before you officially do. Confirm your schedule and worksite before your first day. (Ideally, your manager or an HR representative will reach out to you with these details, but you may have to ask.) If you’re working remotely, determine whether your company will provide you with a computer or whether you’ll need to supply your own.
You may also want to pick out your outfit in advance, plan your route (if you’re working onsite), and even sort out what you’ll eat for lunch. Managing these details ahead of time can often help lessen any anxiety you may feel about your first day.
Get focused on your new role by preparing a 30-60-90 day plan—or the goals you hope to achieve in your first 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. While your employer may expect you to complete a similar type of plan for performance review purposes, it may be beneficial to think about what you want to achieve as you embark on this new endeavor.
As you begin your new role, use the tips below to help guide you. We’ve broken them down into three specific goal categories that can help establish success: learning, visibility, and growth. You don’t need to tackle every single one. Instead, figure out which ones make the most sense for your goals and focus on those.
There’s a lot to learn about when you start a new job, including your tasks and responsibilities, your team’s dynamic, and your company’s mission. The tips below take all of that into account, helping you develop a strategic approach from the very first day.
There’s going to be a lot to learn at first. Besides taking notes, ask for recordings, presentations, or other forms of documentation so you can reference important information later. Bookmark any digital resources for easy access.
During your first day or week, make time to meet with your manager. If they haven’t scheduled a meeting, request one. Go over their expectations for onboarding and getting situated in your role. And make sure you understand which priorities you should focus on, if any.
At first, try to absorb what you can by listening more than speaking and observing what you can. Doing both will likely create questions. Keep a running list of them so when you meet with your manager or team, you can go over everything at once and get answers.
Your company will likely give you access to certain tools or software necessary to your job function. Review those programs, starting with the most important. If you don’t know how to use one, ask if the company offers any internal training sessions or identify resources to help you figure out what you need to know.
It can help to know how things are organized at your company. Most companies keep an organization chart (org chart) available for internal use, though you may find similar information on a website. If not, ask your manager about the important people you need to know in your department and others.
A job isn’t just about what you do—it’s also about who you are, how you show up, and the connections you make. While it might not always seem important to network and be visible, doing both can have a positive impact.
Your manager or someone in HR may make introductions on your first day, either by walking you around the office or sending out an email. If not, make a point to connect with your immediate team members. Share a little bit about yourself so you can start building personal relationships with your peers. You’re there to work, but you can—and should—develop relationships for support and networking.
Whether remote or in-person, companies increasingly rely on an array of digital tools, such as Slack, to connect employees. Set aside time during your first week to fill out any profiles, add your email signature, and take other steps that will help make you more visible both internally and externally.
You should meet your immediate team members over the course of your first or second day. But, if possible, try to introduce yourself to other company employees or teams once you feel more settled in your role. If you work in an office, ask your manager about the other departments your team works with most frequently and reach out to them via email. If you work remotely, introduce yourself via email or Slack.
Employee resource groups (ERGs) help connect employees interested in the same topic or who share a similar identity. If your company offers ERGs, or if there’s a professional group available to join, make an effort to take part where you can. Doing so can help you meet employees outside of your team, feel more connected to others, and grow in ways outside of your immediate role.
Growth is an important part of your larger career journey. As you learn about your role, team, and company, the tips below can help you identify ways to develop your skills, experience, and more.
It’s never too early to start tracking your accomplishments. Create a document where you can make note of your successes, the growth you’ve achieved, and the impact you’ve made—all for easy reference when it comes time to submit your performance review.
For your professional growth, create a career development plan to outline the short-term and long-term goals you want to achieve in your current position. Short-term goals may be things like learning new tools, while long-term goals may be to take on more responsibility in a new area.
It’s important to listen when you first start your role, as we mentioned above, but eventually, you will naturally have ideas to contribute to your work’s or team’s success. Don’t wait to be invited to share what you have—speak up in meetings or, if that feels uncomfortable, speak with your manager privately.
You should have a regular check-in with your manager to discuss your work, your accomplishments, and any areas you may need some extra help. These can be weekly, biweekly, or monthly, but it’s important that they be consistent so you can receive regular feedback to continue growing.
Your company may offer professional development opportunities. Ask your manager or an HR representative about resources, such as taking a course, attending a conference, or partnering with a mentor.
Learn more: How to Find a Mentor
Beyond learning, visibility, and growth, the tips below may be useful in your first month at a new job. Reflect on how you want to show up in your new role and on your new team.
There’s going to be a lot to learn as you get started in your new role. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either from a coworker, manager, or someone else—it shows that you’re proactive and communicate effectively.
A new job offers a chance to refine your habits by leaving behind what wasn’t working for you and establishing a modified routine that does. Spend time reflecting on your habits, such as time management, and identify ways to improve anything that will help you be more successful.
Depending on your company, there may be opportunities for meetings outside of your typical work parameters, such as “Lunch & Learns” or even happy hour events. Participate where you can, but don’t feel as though you need to attend everything. Strike a balance between attending additional meetings or events that will help you achieve the categories above: learning, visibility, and growth.
Establish your boundaries early in your role. Do you need to close your door while concentrating on an intensive task? Do you prefer to wait until the next workday to answer emails that come in overnight? Identify what you need to establish a healthy work-life balance and make it clear to your team.
Learn more: 9 Ways to Set Better Boundaries at Work
As you grow in your new role, consider earning a Professional Certificate from industry leaders like Google, Meta, and IBM on Coursera. Gain valuable career skills in areas such as UX design, social media marketing, and cybersecurity in approximately six or seven months.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.