Congratulations! You’ve landed a sweet new job with great benefits, office perks such as free ice cream on Fridays and a company culture that aligns to your values and goals. So, what’s the first thing you do during your first week on the job?
This is a question many new employees ask themselves when they start a new job. While the first few days can be a bit of an information overload, it is also the time to take advantage of getting some basic housekeeping out of the way that help set you up for success. Here are five things you should when you start a new job.
Learn the lay of the land
If you’re working a company with offices and buildings spread out, it would be a good idea to take the time to learn the lay of the land. Your boss or teammates may take you on a brief tour to the frequently visited locations (e.g., the breakroom, copy room, bathrooms, their offices, etc), but its also good to know where things are in the whole building. Find the emergency exits in case of an evacuation, locate the stairwells and elevators for moving between floors, know the best routes to take between buildings. And don’t worry if you don’t do it all in one day — you have plenty of time to catch up!
Obtain a copy of the company organizational chart
Let’s say your boss asks you to visit Bob in Accounting to get pick up the latest financial projection files but you don’t have any idea where Bob’s office is located, or where accounting is either. Having a copy of the company organizational chart will not only tell you who’s who around the office, but where they’re located as well. Company’s tend to update these annually so be sure you have the latest version nearby for your reference.
Schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss tasks and immediate needs
The first week is all about finding your way around and getting to know the people you will be working with, but what about the actual work? Schedule a meeting with your boss at the beginning of your first week to discuss the onboarding and first-week activities that you need to accomplish. Then, schedule a meeting at the end of the week to recap the first week and to begin talking about your projects and tasks. This is also a great opportunity to start goal and action planning for your review professional development plans that are an HR requirement.
Meet and get to know your team members
An organizational chart will tell you who’s who, but it’s important that you take it a step further and get to know the team you will be working so closely with. Spend your first few days introducing yourself to your team members. Get to know their names, the roles on the teams and the projects they are working on. You can even ask to join them for lunch to get to know them personally. Knowing your team helps you not only get to know one another but builds trust and camaraderie.
Setup your email signature and calendar
Your first day is all about getting acclimated to your new workspace, and by day three, you’re usually thrusted into projects and hitting the ground running. Make sure you setup your email signature and your calendar is functioning during your first week. Not sure what to include in your signature? Ask your boss or teammate to share theirs with you as a template.
Starting a new job can be a busy, yet daunting achievement, but by completing these five things, you are setting yourself up for a smooth transition and long career. Take the time to take care of the background information and onboarding activities necessary for your company and yourself, and then you will soar!
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