So you just landed a new gig. Congrats! We applaud this achievement, but we also know you’re not about to rest on your laurels; you want to start climbing that corporate ladder ASAP. To help you on your way up, here are our top 5 tips for successfully making it past the newbie phase and onto the next rung.
Create a comfortable space:
Let’s face it. You’re going to be spending a lot of your time at work. According to this article, the average American spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. So you might as well get comfortable. If your new office is anything like the Avenica offices, you can’t just wear your Snuggie and slippers to get comfy, but you can bring in things to decorate your desk space and add personal touches – whether it be something funny, cute, or just plain homey to help you feel more in your element while in your new surroundings.
Become part of the culture:
Take some time to observe your surroundings; the way people socialize, work together, and even how they dress. We’re not saying you should change everything about yourself and conform, but drinking a little bit of the corporate Kool-Aid could be fun. Join in happy hours, take part in traditions and celebrations, and start understanding how people work together and get along. At the Avenica home office in Minneapolis, MN, everyone gets together to go out to lunch on Fridays. It’s a great way to connect with people around the office in a more social, informal setting.
Get to know your direct supervisor:
Forging a good relationship with a new boss can be tricky. It’s great if you’re able to break down some of those barriers that make it difficult or awkward to communicate early. Ask your boss to grab lunch with you; even better if you can get “off campus” and go to a restaurant near by. It always feels more comfortable and informal to get out of the office. Suggest a time in the middle of the month when there’s less likely to be deadlines looming, making it easier to get away for a bit. One-on-one time outside of training and the regular workday can help establish and develop a more meaningful working relationship. It can also make asking questions or raising concerns a little bit easier down the road.
Learn from your new colleagues:
Take a bit of time to observe and understand the way things work, the various processes and systems used, and how your team works with each other and other business partners. Identify people who are successful in their roles or are particularly good at something. Model and learn from their behavior and ask questions to learn more about their process. People directly on your team are great for this, but don’t be shy about branching out. If your company has an internal mentorship program, take advantage of the opportunity to learn from more seasoned, higher-level employees. Their insight and, potentially, their support in helping you develop, could mean great things for your career.
Seek feedback and direction:
Check in with your boss after about 90 days; ask for an informal meeting to discuss your progress, performance, and goals. After your first three months, you should feel a little more comfortable in your role and responsibilities and with your team and boss. Come prepared to take in constructive criticism, but most importantly, use it to help you get to the next stage in your career.
Your first few days, weeks, months in a new position can be quite the whirlwind with training, learning new things, and meeting new people. Whether you plan to stay at your new company for many years to come or use it as a stepping stone for something else, get yourself set up for success early using these five actions.
For more than twenty years, Avenica has been the leading U.S. recruiting firm exclusively focused on placing college graduates into entry-level, career-track positions. Learn more about our process, or upload your resume to be considered for an open position with one of our amazing clients.