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Your first week on the job is a big deal. Getting the job might have been tough, but keeping it could prove harder. You want to make a great first impression; you only get one chance. What you do during this first week may determine your survival at the company.
Show up smiling, engaged and excited to be there. You might be the only new thing the office has seen in a while, so make your presence a pleasant experience for everyone. Be on time and be ready to begin your journey with your new employer from the moment you walk in the door. This is your chance to make a great impression – be professional and likeable. And dress for the occasion – expect to be on display throughout the week.
Learn as Much as You Can
Your first week should be filled with learning – make this your focus. You should be learning about your boss, learning about your co-workers and learning how to do your job. You are also learning what it really is like working for the employer – not just what its website said or what was shared during the interview. Now that you are on the inside, you should be experiencing the organization’s culture and taking cues. Spend lots of time listening, observing and researching in your workplace. Ask questions and take notes. Ask your boss if you can meet with her at the end of the week to go over any questions, concerns or needs you have.
There is no better time than your first week to make introductions. Take the initiative to introduce yourself to everyone you meet. It is less awkward doing introductions now – no one expects you to know who they are and they are curious about you. Your initiative shows confidence. Engage in small talk with colleagues and show off your business etiquette skills. Offer to help out where you can – taking advantage of every opportunity to get to know your new team.
There are some things you should avoid doing your first week on the job. Avoid talking about your last employer or how you did things someplace else. Even if you are feeling a little homesick, focus on the positive aspects of your new job. Avoid showing signs of weakness, which could follow you throughout your career if it gives the wrong first impression to the right people. Put the brakes on any changes you want to instigate – the first week is not the time to turn the company on its head unless you want to end up on yours.
- The Daily MBA: Your First 90 Days at a New Job
- Ambis: Surviving a New Job
- AOL Jobs: How to Impress Your Boss the First Week on the New Job
- The Office Life: 8 Things to Get You Through the First Two Weeks of a New Job
- Aquarius: How to Survive Your First Week in a New Job
- Experience: Four Goals for Your First Work Week at a New Job
- Forbes: How to Survive Your First Week at Work
- Live Career: Five Blunders to Avoid During Your First Week on the Job
- Excelle: How to Survive the First Week at Your New Job
Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.