4 things you must do in your first month of a new job

Jan 5, 2022 | Articles

Source: Fast Company
Author: Sophie Kobylinski

It’s an exciting time for new hires. To contend with the Great Resignation, businesses are upping their incentives for employees, offering signing bonuses, increasing compensation, and reducing requirements for new applicants. Some companies are even offering tuition assistance for hourly workers.

For the millions of United States employees who have quit—or are planning on quitting their jobs—the job market won’t stay hot forever. Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi predicts that by 2023 the Great Resignation will be over, and most people will have returned to the workforce.

As pandemic-related factors for job resignations subside and workers flock to open positions, adjusting to a new workplace—especially on a remote or hybrid team—may feel overwhelming. To settle in as smoothly as possible, here are four ways you can set yourself up for success in the first month in your new role:

Learn your manager’s expectations

It’s hard to do well at a new job if you don’t have a clear understanding of what’s expected of you. As you settle into your new workplace, make sure to establish with your manager what success in your role looks like. Ask for specific deliverables and don’t be afraid to inquire about what you can do to stand out.

“Having a clear understanding of what defines your success will keep you focused on the right goals and fully aware of how you’re performing at all times,” writes Blair Decembrele, director of global integrated marketing communications and career expert at LinkedIn. Decembrele recommends asking how your performance will be measured, and whether there are any benchmarks that you can work toward.

Once you have a solid understanding of your manager’s expectations, make sure to schedule monthly check-ins to monitor your progress and ensure you’re on the right track.

Establish good habits

Every onboarding process comes with its own set of documents to study and systems to master. It’s best to get organized as soon as you can. Get acquainted with applications and filing systems early on to save yourself the trouble of looking around for documents later.

In a recent article, Zapier’s Ellie Huizenga recommends separating your work browser account from your personal one, and creating bookmark folders on your web browser to save pages by topic. This method will help you sort useful materials that you want to save for future reference, and quickly find them when you need them again.

Once you have an organization system in place, begin to prioritize tasks and develop a healthy pace of work. “What I wish someone had told me was: Pace yourself,” writes Zapier’s Hannah Herman. Herman suggests setting aside time for administrative tasks so that they don’t catch you off guard with how much time they require.  Prioritizing your to-dos and scheduling in time for administrative work will help you stay on top of things and avoid feeling stressed.

Get to know your coworkers

To have a successful work life, it’s crucial that you build relationships and establish a positive reputation. Score some early wins by delivering on tasks quickly and accept assignments with a good attitude. Be consistent with response times to emails and other company communications, to show that you are reliable. If you want to go the extra mile, reach out to swamped members on your team to see if you can help them with any work.

Learn as much as you can about the company

Make sure to learn as much as you can about your company during the first month on the job. Herman stresses the importance of understanding the chain of command and where your work fits within broader company initiatives. “Taking time to learn about the company’s organizational structure can help you adjust more quickly to your new work environment,” Herman writes.

It’s also key to pay attention to your teammates’ working styles, to make sure you can work most effectively with them. Shireen Jaffar, CEO at Edvo, suggests asking coworkers directly about their working hours, preferred methods of communication, and how they like to receive feedback.

To continue building connections and strengthen your understanding of your company, reach out to new people and participate in as many interest-based groups as you can. “Joining in on those conversations is a great way to build relationships, both personal and professional,” writes Ellie Huizenga.