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Navigating the First Three Months in Your New Job

Topics: Career Advice
Receiving, negotiating and accepting a new job offer is always a cause for celebration. But after the burst of excitement and exhilaration it’s time to focus, as the next adventure is about to start.
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Starting a new job can be challenging. As many of us know, it can be one of life’s most stressful experiences. Luckily, if you’ve made the right move, that stress will be short lived. However, even if you love your new job, being the new person isn’t easy. Not only will you want to hit the ground running and make a great impression on your new employers, you will be navigating a new corporate culture, acclimating to new surroundings, getting to know new coworkers and assuming new responsibilities.

It’s a lot to handle. Here are some ways to help you stand out as a great new hire in your first three months.

Embrace a Positive Attitude

A smile will be noticed and will go a long way, even if you’re feeling nervous during your first few weeks. The onboarding process can be overwhelming when you’re simultaneously trying to make a great impression and adjust to a new environment.

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A positive mindset will help you move past any challenges you may face in the first few weeks. In addition, positivity is often infectious, so it’s a smart way to make a good impression from the get-go.

Dress the Part

Don’t fall into the trap of paying close attention to your attire for your first day only. Even though you’ve been hired, you will continue to encounter new people as you navigate your first few weeks in the role.

First impressions matter and how you present yourself will be noticed, even if you feel no one knows who you are yet.  Make the effort to continue to be well groomed and to dress professionally as you settle into your role.

Don’t Be Afraid to Introduce Yourself

When you’re new you may feel the need to wait to be introduced, or for someone else to start a conversation. However, if you encounter someone you haven’t met before don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.

When you’re new you may feel the need to wait to be introduced, or for someone else to start a conversation. However, if you encounter someone you haven’t met before don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.Click To Tweet

Take every opportunity you can to get to know your colleagues and start to build rapport. Where possible, attend company events and don’t be afraid to ask about opportunities that bring employees together. Be friendly and approachable to everyone you meet along the way.

Create a Three-Month Plan

Your manager is likely to have prepared tasks for you to work on, but it’s important to make sure you both on the same page about the responsibilities and goals for your new role. Where possible, you should establish how your manager will measure performance for each task and clarify priorities.

Taking the initiative to create a clear plan of action for your first three months will demonstrate you are motivated and productive. Also, a proactive plan will put you on the path to secure some early accomplishments that will make you stand out.

Creating a clear plan of action for your first three months will demonstrate you are motivated and productive. Also, a proactive plan will put you on the path to secure some early accomplishments that will make you stand out.Click To Tweet

Watch, Listen and Learn

Reading the employee handbook is important but observing and learning from the people around you will pay dividends.  Watching and listening will help you start to understand any unwritten rules and get a sense of the corporate culture.

During your first few weeks try to determine the top performers on your team and observe how they behave so you can start to adopt best practices. Adjusting and transitioning to a new work environment takes time, so be patient. It won’t happen overnight, but after a few months you will look back and realize you’ve come a long way.

Octavia Goredema is the founder and editor of Twenty Ten Talent, a career resource for talented young black women. Find her on Twitter at @OctaviaGoredema.

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What advice can you give workers starting a new job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Octavia Goredema
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