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How can you get off to a successful start in your new job?

26/07/2022 2022/07

We all certainly have had the experience of how exciting it is to start a new job. Starting with the joy that arises when you finally receive the hoped-for acceptance after the exhausting application process.
From this moment on, thoughts begin to circle in your head about what the start in the new job will be like. Will I be able to present myself as I really am? Can I confirm the good impression I made during the interview? What are my new colleagues like? Will they be friendly and bear with me if I'm nervous and don't do everything perfectly right from the start? How will the onboarding process go?

Tips for the first week in a new job

"There are no second chances for first impressions."

Indeed, the first impression is often decisive for the further course of a relationship or a certain situation. Therefore, even before starting a new job, it is undoubtedly helpful to think about various factors that can be helpful for a successful start.
The first day of work is like the first day of school in the past. Everything is foreign - the rooms, the colleagues and the tasks even more so. As a " new colleague " in the company, you first have to find your place in the team, and the new colleagues have to get to know you and get used to you.

Preparation is everything!

To avoid being too nervous on your first days at work, prepare yourself well. Research what to expect on the Internet. Talk openly about your first days and ask about onboarding. Perhaps the company will also provide you with some material so that you can already familiarize yourself with your new position. This way, you won't be thrown in at the deep end, but will have important prior knowledge!

Clothes make the man!

Find out about the dress code. Some companies have a uniform dress code, which you should of course adhere to! At the job interview, you have probably already seen some colleagues. Perhaps you remember what they wore. Formal dress is appreciated when dealing with customers, because it conveys competence and self-confidence. Important for the first impression: Dress neither too chic nor too casual - both can spoil your job start. A good middle ground is ideal!


Don't be late on your first day! Punctuality is a sign of reliability, respect and politeness towards other colleagues.
Certainly, occasional tardiness will be tolerated if you have been with the company for some time. After all, something can happen to anyone. For the first day or the entire first time in the new job, however, unpunctuality is a no-go!

Friendliness is the be-all and end-all!

A smile opens doors - and that can be indispensable when starting a job! 
With a friendly facial expression, you immediately appear more likeable, open and cordial. This is also how you convey interest to your counterpart. If you're a bit more shy, you can practice your natural smile at home in front of the mirror. This way, you'll be able to get over new situations without getting tense and in a much more relaxed manner.

Where do I have to go?

Familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. Where are the restrooms? Where can I get coffee and water? What can you do during your break? Where can you get something to eat? It's best to ask a new colleague if they can show you around. This is also a good way to make your first contacts right away.

Better to be active than passive!

This applies to introductions as much as it does to your general behavior. At the beginning of the new job, you will probably be introduced once in a large group, but it is better if you also greet your colleagues personally. In these short conversations, mention your name, what you have done so far and a few words about you personally. That way, your counterpart will know about you right away! 
Also, try to remember the names of your new colleagues as much as possible right from the start. Nothing is more embarrassing than having to ask someone for their name over and over again. If you also emphasize that you are looking forward to working with them, you will leave a lasting impression. You are also welcome to ask a few questions during this round of introductions and to look a little more closely. 
After all, only those who observe closely can familiarize themselves with the new circumstances! For example, the hierarchies of the company will become much more transparent for you. 
Research has shown that new employees perform better when they ask more questions. Also, your new colleagues will immediately see that you are seriously interested in your new job and its activities.

You are not alone!

Find a reference person who will stand by your side during the first period. This can be someone who is just new like you and who also feels less anxious or nervous because of the contact with you. Or maybe there is someone in your department who "looks after" you. Or you already know some of your new colleagues from your private environment. The more contact you seek from day one, the easier it will be for you to settle into your new company. 

Celebrate your first day!

This event is a great way to get to know your colleagues better. Because there is often too little time for this during work. Therefore, be prepared to invite the team to a small get-acquainted party. 
Very important: A little something is enough! Nobody asks for a complete buffet! The first day is a courtesy from you and an appreciation for the new colleagues, so don't go overboard, but plan something cozy in a relaxed atmosphere. The best time for this is the common rooms and the time after the lunch break or directly after work. To ensure that as many colleagues as possible come, invite them personally so that everyone knows about it. And when the day has come and everyone is enjoying the cake - preferably homemade - you will see that you have actually arrived well at the company and that the job start has been a wonderful success!

Tips for the first three months in your new job

Get to know your area of responsibility and tasks!

From now on, focus primarily on your day-to-day work. In the first week, you have certainly already gained initial insights into your new tasks. Now it is time to take them on and learn. Familiarize yourself with the existing structures and look over the shoulders of your new colleagues as they do their work. Ask questions that can help you get to know your new area of responsibility as quickly as possible and take on tasks independently. Don't forget, however, that all of your colleagues started at some point and certainly haven't forgotten. They will help you define your responsibilities and show and explain your tasks.

Take notes!

It is best to have a notebook with you from day one, where you write down everything that is important for the new job. Write down procedures that can make your job easier; names that are difficult for you to remember; times that should be observed in the company. This way you are less likely to forget and can always refer back to it if you are unsure. At the end of each week, take the time to review your notes and add to them if you think of anything else. This will give you a good overview of important things.

Be proactive and self-reliant!

Don't wait for someone to always take care of you. Join the team and independently take on tasks that have already been shown to you and that you feel confident with. Ask yourself if something seems unclear to you or if you are still missing important work materials, for example. Be proactive and approach your colleagues yourself. This way, they will see that you care, that your work is important to you and that you enjoy it. It is now time to build structures and new routines.

Set goals and expectations!

Surely, in the first month you have already had the first appraisal interview with your new supervisor about how you are settling into the new job and the team. It's best to set goals with them, which you should achieve during the orientation period, or ask them to give you some initial projects where you can apply what you've learned so far. In this discussion, also clarify mutual expectations and be open to constructive criticism. Take it on board and try to implement the advice or comments. However, do not take criticism to heart and try not to relate it to yourself personally. Often it has nothing to do with you as a person. 

Nobody is perfect!

No matter how much experience you have from your previous jobs, you have never done this job under these conditions, with these people. Therefore, be humble and listen more than you talk. Keep an open mind and recognize that no one is perfect and can do everything on their own from the beginning. Your new job is a process that you will grow into and have to learn. So don't be too hard on yourself if you don't succeed at everything right away. Mistakes are also part of the learning process and are natural. Don't focus too much on what you can't do yet, but instead focus on how far you've already come and where you will get to thanks to your good work.

"He who always does what he already can, always remains what he already is!"
- Henry Ford - 


Just be yourself! Be open-minded to new things and don't let the exciting first time intimidate or worry you. Remember that there are good reasons why you, of all people, got the job and not one of your competitors. 
Always keep in mind what you can do, who you are, and what you want to accomplish. Be attentive, observe your colleagues in their daily work and capture as much of it as possible. Don't hide your skills and abilities under a shelf, but also be open to criticism and comments. Don't set your expectations too high.
And above all, always remember that every one of your new colleagues started out small. They too had their first day at some point and were just as nervous as you!

If you take some, or at best all, of these tips to heart, nothing will stand in the way of a successful start in your new job!

About the Author
Susann Handke
HR Marketing

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