One of the unique and scariest things about starting a new job is the fact that you do it alone.
See, most times when we do scary things, ie. traveling to a new country, speaking in front of a group of people, or going to a scary doctor’s appointment, we have people there to do it with us. But, when’s the last time you brought your bud to a job interview? Or had your fiance come to your first day of work?
You did it alone. By yourself. Solo.
It can be tough to navigate a new office, take on an unfamiliar culture, read a room, all while trying to do what you were actually hired to do- make your company a better place.
In this blog, we wanted to give you a few tips for how you can dive into a new workplace and have the most successful start ever.
Have you ever waited to ask a question and then accidentally waited so long that you’re now at a point where it would be awkward to ask because you really should know what that thing is by now? We’ve done this, you’ve done this.
But think about how much simply not asking questions holds you back from understanding your role, how to do it well, and moving on to more important things!
TalentEgg has a great list of questions you should ask when starting a new job. Things like:
- Is there any material I can read in advance of my start date?
- Who are my team members and what are their roles?
- What is the biggest priority/challenge you’re working on right now?
- How is X done and why?
- What does the organizational ‘culture’ look like on a daily basis?
- What does success look like for my role?
- How and when will my performance be reviewed?
Of course, it doesn’t have to stop there. Asking questions will always be a huge part of growing into your role and improving as an employee. Do your best to ask them when they come up or save them for your next meeting with your team lead.
Here’s a tip from one of our newest team members at Scouted, Nicole:
Something that has helped me with the transition at Scouted is that everyone is open to talk about everything all the time. Knowing I can actually say, “This makes no sense to me and I am confused,” is very valuable, especially when you are making a career transition.
Schedule time with your manager
Not to sound braggy, but one of the things Scouted does really well is transparency and accountability. On a weekly basis, we have sync up meetings with our team leads to get on the same page of what needs to be prioritized and completed that week. We also have weekly (office-wide) team meetings where we go over our progress from the week before and also talk about the highs and lows from the week. These meetings also help keep us on track with our monthly, quarterly, and even yearly goals.
One of the great things about these meetings is that they give us a chance to “synthesize” the week and get a good idea on where we are as a business and what each individual team is working on. This not only allows us to have a bigger picture of the goals of our business, but it helps us to see more of a purpose behind what we’re doing and how our job fits in.
If you can, try to schedule regular “sync ups” with your manager and team in order to get on the same page about your work, synthesize your progress towards your goals, and see the bigger picture behind your work.
Figure out how your office really communicates
Every office communicates differently and even within individual teams, managers and teammates may prefer different modes of communication. Talk to your coworkers about the best way to get a hold of the people on your team and the managers you’re working under. Even if
your team typically uses a messaging platform like Slack, that may or may not be the most effective way to get a hold of certain people, so do your best to find out what works and for whom.
Here’s another tip from Sarah, another recent Scouted hire:
I showed up ready to work on a variety of projects and with as many people of the team as possible. Which is def easier to do at a startup than a corporate team, but that’s part of the reason I chose to work at Scouted! I struggle in environments where there is a lot of “red tape” around creative approaches or taking on big picture projects, and knew that I wanted to be in an environment that nurtured that aspect of my work persona.
“We don’t want you to improve yourself so you can do your job better and grow this company,” said no boss ever.
Seriously. If you’re willing to take the time out of your day to learn and improve yourself for the sake of your job and the company, your company will help you do it.
Maybe your manager has a go-to reading list they can suggest or podcast they’re addicted to. Your company may be willing to sponsor a trip to a conference, and intensive, or a certification program.
Besides this, it’s been shown that millennials in the workforce gravitate towards companies where they feel they’ll be given the chance to learn and advance their careers, so it’s in a companies best interest to offer mentorships and learning opportunities to their employees.
Sit in on meetings
Part of the learning process will simply be to learn the ins and outs of your own company. One way you can do this is by sitting in on meetings you may not normally be a part of. For example, if you work for a startup, it might be a good idea to sit in on a couple of investor meetings to hear your founders pitch their product and talk about what makes your business different. At times it may be helpful to sit in on sales or account management calls to hear questions and concerns of clients and customers and how your teammates in those roles counter those.
In any case, by sitting in on meetings outside your own team or department, you’ll be broadening your own perspective on how your company functions, your customers’/clients’ needs and how you can collaborate with team members inter-departmentally.
Go above and beyond, but set your boundaries
Say you spent some time after your interview negotiating your pay and benefits at your new company. If you were able to land a slightly higher paycheck- good for you! But- now is the time to show you’re worth it. Do your best to dive in and start contributing as soon as you can.
That being said, now is the time to establish standards and boundaries at work. Decide whether or not you’re ok with answering emails on the weekends or staying late on a regular basis. What you choose to do in the beginning will set the expectation for you as an employee going forward.
Overall, getting the feel of a new workplace will take time and inevitably, some trial and error. As long as you do your best to be flexible, jump in where needed, and ask questions, we’re confident that you’ll do an amazing job at adapting to your new office.
As always, we’d love to hear from you! Leave your own tips, experience, or suggestions in the comments below and sign up for our newsletter to receive job hunting tips right in your inbox!