The first day at work: survival guide – 4 tips on how to comfortably enter a new job
Stepping into a new job is always stressful, especially when you need to fit in as quickly as possible and get started on tasks. We tell you what to look for, so as not to regret the choice and be “in its place.
Step one: reconnaissance
The first day of work is not the first contact with the employer. You should take the opportunity to talk before you go on the job to learn more about the company. Then you won’t feel like you’re starting from scratch on your first day, either. Try to talk through as much as you can at the interview. Ask for a description of the work environment, clarify the formal requirements.
Do not hesitate to ask about small things, from the dress code to attitudes towards smoking breaks. But, of course, not in the first place: if you ask about a cafe near the office instead of the tasks right away, it is unlikely that the future employer will appreciate the prioritization.
When the offer is almost a done deal, it’s time to voice individual requests. For example, you live in the suburbs and are unlikely to make it to the office downtown by 8. And is it really necessary? Discuss whether you can be accommodated, and consider whether you’re willing to sacrifice your comfort if you refuse. This is especially true if you have several interesting proposals: it is important to discuss the nuances beforehand, so that you can make the right choice, avoid unpleasant surprises, do not waste your own and other people’s time. As a result, there will be fewer deceived expectations on both sides.
By getting more information at the start, you increase your chances of adapting easily. The company, for its part, will see the interest and have more peace of mind knowing that you won’t suddenly disappear.
Step Two: Get your bearings on the ground
The main tactic on the first day in a new place is to watch and listen. First, you need to delve into the job descriptions. In a small startup you can hardly expect them to be 100% informative, rather they will be streamlined formulations of professional standards, which do not reflect what you will have to work with in reality. Large companies have the opposite: instructions describe everything from “A” to “Z,” but even they do not provide answers to all questions.
Usually, newcomers are assigned mentors, be they supervisors, experienced colleagues, HR specialists, or representatives of a special adaptation department. They will get you up to speed, explain, and help with general questions. Here you should stick to the principle of “if you don’t understand, ask,” because no one can get into your head. But do not take too much time from your colleagues – the employer is still counting on your autonomy.
Next, pay attention to how the formal rules relate to the informal rules, study the internal schedule. Do they go for a smoke break? Do they eat lunch together or separately? Do they bring their own food or go to a cafe? Do they banter or are they completely focused on the task at hand? Is it “you” and by appointment with the boss, or do they talk freely?
In addition to everyday life, “ideological” nuances can also play a role. For example, in the team it is customary to have informal get-togethers after work – are you ready to give up a couple of hours of personal time to “fit in” with your colleagues? Or foul comments are in fashion, and for you it is nonsense – is it worth reconstructing, to pass for his, or to defend their principles and remain a black sheep? It happens that the company is dominated by the “cult of the ruble”: the desire to earn more at any cost. Or labor fanaticism reigns: overwork and all-out labor exploits in the name of the “common cause” are welcomed. How does this appeal to you? Evaluate whether it is critical to comply with the unspoken etiquette in general. Perhaps it is enough to cope with the duties.
Step Three: Don’t wait for “full immersion.”
Most likely, the first days, weeks, or even months at a new company will be spent in training mode. Formally, it may be reduced to studying the welcome-pack leaflet or an introductory lecture from a mentor. But in reality, it is unlikely that you will be immediately accepted as a fully functional unit: both manager and colleagues take over some of the tasks for now and include time in their schedule to answer your questions and monitor how you are doing.
We allocate two weeks for training, so that the newcomer gets to know the product and our business model, and communicates with representatives of each department. The results are followed by a qualification exam. At the same time, we collect feedback: we ask what the employee likes, what difficulties he encounters, what he would do differently. At the same time mentor daily discusses with the mentee what he did right and what he did wrong. This scheme is followed by testers, support engineers, and salespeople. The developers have a little different: the main exam – testing, then the principle of “do not know how to talk, but how to do everything” applies – we wait for the results without long discussions.
If you are not specifically recruited, do not expect everyone to see your potential and talent right away. And when you get a simple task on probation, don’t be disappointed: no, they don’t doubt you, it’s just that there are such tasks, too, and it’s important for someone to do them. With us, development novices get a slice of small, strictly applied tasks that they need to solve in the best possible way in the allotted time. So do not underestimate small tasks: business takes them just as seriously as big projects.
It is clear that the “light” mode will not last forever. Sooner or later the demands to you will grow, especially if the company has invested time and effort in your training. It’s good if the workload increases gradually. If you feel that you have understood and would like to start more complicated tasks, and the management “buksut” – the initiative is welcome. The main thing is not to overdo it and do not try to take on more, just to make a good impression. The rule is the same: the better you get at the start, the fewer mistakes you make later.
Step Four: Be yourself
Do not try by all means to please everyone. As a rule, the company is interested in the candidate as much as he is interested in the new job (especially if we are talking about rare specialists). That is why it is possible to behave naturally.
You don’t want to start from scratch and adjust to new rules, crossing out all your previous experience. Experience is what makes a candidate, so even if you are used to solving tasks differently than the company is used to, the employer may appreciate a fresh perspective. The main thing is to know the measure and not to reinvent the wheel where it is not necessary. Maybe your “innovative” ideas are already past their sell-by date. Or maybe there are technological, legal or other constraints that make it impossible to “make things easier”.
No revelations or great reforms are expected from you, because the company was working successfully before you came, it employs qualified specialists, and professionals in their field are at the helm. So taking an overly critical look and looking for weaknesses in business processes from day one is a failing tactic. Instead of an audit, weigh whether the local way of doing things is right for you. And from this point of view, it’s often the daily office routine, not the workflow design, that’s more important.
It is better not to build air castles in advance, the real state of affairs in the company probably does not coincide with your ideas. The company may surprise you, even if it is not Google with a million “pluses” for employees. But if in fact you are rather uncomfortable, it is better to discuss it with your bosses, clarify the situation, and if no one is ready for compromise – say goodbye.
HR-people used to be genuinely surprised when seemingly motivated and seemingly suitable candidates turned around and left after a couple of days. Now the rhetoric is changing: the candidate has as much right to decide whether to stay in the ranks as companies have to decide whether to keep the candidate after the internship. When newcomers come in with this attitude, they are less stressed to get into the workplace.
First Day at a New Job
All the excitement of the job search is behind you and you have received the long-awaited job offer, but the hardest and most interesting thing is just ahead. Entering a new job is equally exciting, both for beginners and for people with experience. Let’s look at the main points to consider in the first few days at a new job.
First day at work
The process of entering a new job is called adaptation. Depending on the level of the company and internal rules, the adaptation period can vary significantly. Let’s look at the best option you might encounter in most companies.
Along with a job offer, the HR department sends you a list of documents that you must provide on your first day at your new job. It usually includes:
- education document,
- your employment history,
- military ID for people liable for military service,
- a mandatory pension insurance certificate,
If you work for the first time, the employment book and insurance certificate of compulsory pension insurance are issued by the employer. If a work record book is lost or damaged, at the request of the employee, the company’s HR department will start a new one.
It is customary that a new employee is met by a human resources specialist, who introduces you to the internal regulations, executes the documents, and introduces you to your new colleagues.
Some companies have an adaptation plan for the probationary period. This document is drawn up for the entire period of the probationary period. The document describes the main tasks and deadlines for their fulfillment. There is no need to be intimidated by this document, it is created not only for your control, but also for better understanding of expectations from you by your new management. At the end of each month or the entire period, you and your supervisor evaluate your performance. Recall that the probationary period for professionals is set at three months and can be shortened at the employer’s initiative.
How to behave at your new job
Once all the formalities are passed and you have started performing your duties, it is important to adapt to the team itself. Observe your colleagues, look closely at your supervisor, try to understand how to behave, what is accepted and what is not accepted in the team. First of all, pay attention to the colleagues with whom you will have to interact most often in business processes. Ask your manager or colleagues to explain in detail what you do not understand. Try to ask questions more often, don’t get clever, but don’t take unnecessary tasks either. Show friendliness, be polite, try to remember everyone quickly and behave naturally.
Try to get feedback from your supervisor and don’t be afraid of criticism. Of course, asking to evaluate your work every day is excessive, but clarify the results when the task is completed. Try to establish interaction with your supervisor and colleagues.
A mama’s boy is not the kind of person the boss wants to see in front of him. And even if it is your first job, and the whole family is eager to get into your office and assess it, still you should not bring the whole family to the first working day, since the boss would probably not like it.
The quieter the ride, the farther away you’ll be. If you happen to be afraid of being late on your first day at work and there’s a traffic jam or something else, you shouldn’t step on the gas pedal, because you never know who you’ll cut off. Here’s one boss told about how some boor not only told him a couple of unkind words, but even thanked him indecent gesture, well, not mediately in the office it turned out that they have to work together.
… before knocking on the door of your new office and announcing that you have arrived at work, make sure that this is the right place for you! This is especially true if you are sent to the wrong place for the job interview. After all, the “mistake” may be found out only after an hour, or even more, and you, except for the awkward situation and wasted time, will also be late for your workplace.
… Your first day at work should start on time, even if there is not the freshest buns or the most fragrant coffee. And there was a story, when the newcomers of one international company had to stay overnight in a hotel, as early in the morning they had to be present in its lobby at the general meeting to get acquainted with the rules, but out of 9 people only 5 showed up for some reason, well all the rest were found in a hotel restaurant, eating fresh pastries, which smelled so fragrant. The young people were so carried away that they didn’t even notice that they were already late.
… It is not necessary to start comparing your old and new jobs, because many employers are not only very surprised, but even stressed. Experts advise, as much as you don’t want to say it, you should still try to avoid remarks such as: “At my old job they used to do it like this.”
Since, even if the process itself is similar, it may still have some nuances from firm to firm, and therefore bring a twist from your old work in it too, is not worth it. It is necessary to be able to adjust to the situation, otherwise you will soon run the risk of losing your coveted position.
… You should relax, because no one expects that on the first day you’ll be so well integrated into the team and be absorbed by all that is happening in the new place of work, that immediately give out a couple of brilliant ideas about how to improve sales, etc., thus increasing profits. Do not throw yourself on the first overpowering burden, because usually it takes a person at least three months to make his head and brains all sorted in the right places. There is no need to force events and turn inside out, since everything should go its way. In addition, too much initiative will also scare away your colleagues.
… Too much curiosity can be detrimental. Of course, the new person can be a lot of incomprehensible, and he can, and even should, ask questions, but before you voice them aloud, think about the impression they can leave.
For example, there is even a list of the most inappropriate questions that new employees asked their bosses or colleagues on their first day at work.
For example, it doesn’t exactly sound pretty: “Can I count on the opportunity to take an extended leave of absence?”, “And why is the notice period for resignation so long?”, “How quickly will I be promoted?”, etc.
And the “best” question is undoubtedly, “What is the value of my sick pay?”
Experts and recruiting experts strongly advise employees not to ask an employer questions that would cause them to immediately question their interest in the job.
Remember, you’re not the only one evaluating your colleagues, but they’re evaluating you as well. For the already established team, your arrival is also a bit stressful. Your colleagues are also looking at you, assessing whether you can be trusted with tasks and count on you. Take it easy to possible misunderstandings, because after at least three months you will be considered as one of their own.
And most importantly, you came to work, not to be friends. So first of all pay attention to work processes, establish yourself as a responsible and reliable employee