Best advice for the first few weeks at a new job

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Best advice for a new job

Having just landed a new job, you are probably going through a lot of emotions in anticipation of your first day. You are probably asking yourself several questions. Some of the questions you may be asking:

  • Will my coworkers like me?
  • Will I get along with my manager?
  • What will be expected of me as a new employee?
  • How tough will the onboarding program be?

We have seen it all

Well, you are in luck, because with decades of experience in Human Resources, we at Career Tracker have seen it all. We have seen everything when it comes to a new hire’s first day. Some new hires try too hard to make a great impression. Other new hires are so nervous they don’t say a thing and just try to blend in.   

Because we have seen it all, we know what it takes to make a great impression on day one and the first few weeks. We are going to explain what all managers hope for from their new hires.

What your manager is hoping for 

Your manager is like any other person, they want to work with the folks that are “easy to manage” and “easy to be around”. The one thing most employees forget is that our job is to make our managers job easier.  “Easy to manage” can be broken down to a couple of points:

  • Be easy to work with. When in doubt smile.
  • Do what you are asked, and just as important, do what you say you are going to do.
  • Do not hesitate to take on any new project you are offered. You may not have training but the manager wouldn’t have asked you to take on a project if you weren’t able. You will be trained. Remember, this early with a new company, no one can blame you for asking for help.

First couple of weeks at a new job

  • Get to know your coworkers. If they ask you to coffee or lunch, you say “Yes!” without hesitation. Decline an invite and you probably won’t be asked again.
  • Take the initiative to meet with your manager and learn what your training plan is going to be.
  • Keep your manager updated on a regular basis so there are no surprises.  This may be daily, 2X a week, or weekly, depending on the length of the training plan.  
  • Try to arrive early and stay late. Coming in at 9:00 on the dot and leaving at 5:00 will establish your work ethic as someone who is going to do the bare minimum. Even 15- 30 minutes on both sides of the day will show your manager and your coworkers that you want to learn.
  • When you have downtime, ask your coworkers how you can help them. No one wants to pay an employee to sit around and wait for work.

Your career is yours, not your managers

Just being consistent with these simple steps will ensure your manager sees you as the proactive employee with a positive attitude. In our experience, 90% of employees do not follow these guidelines. At the end of the day, your career is YOUR career, not your manager’s career.

When you doubt yourself, remember this:

Managers are confident they can train you on the technical aspects of any job. Your prior experience and education prove that you are trainable. What most employers also know is that they are not able to train an employee on a positive attitude that is open to trying new ideas.

What managers really want

If a manager has a choice between an expert at the job with a bad attitude and a someone relatively new to the industry that is eager to learn and try new ideas, they will take the newbie. Resistant attitudes are tough to manage and affect the rest of the team. It’s easier to train a positive attitude than it is to manage a bad attitude.

So, relax, smile and attack your new job with the understanding that no manager is expecting you to make an immediate contribution. Your manager is playing the long game knows they need to invest in your training. Learn the job get to know your coworkers. With this attitude, you can’t help but be successful.

Good luck,

The Career Tracker crew  

Key Takeaway: Your first couple of weeks on a new job, remember to smile, make friends and be open to new ideas. 

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