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Getting off to a Successful Start

Career Resource Center

Getting Off to a Successful Start

You may feel anxious and uncertain as the new employee, but the following tips can help you make a smooth transition into your new position in the first few weeks as a new employee.

  • Talk less, observe and listen. It takes time—at least a few weeks—to learn the company culture, the inner workings and the issues of the company. Use past experience, but don’t assume the way your previous company did things is the correct way to do things now.
  • Be on time and don’t be absent. As your managers and co-workers are forming an impression of you, it is imperative to have a good attendance record. Put in a full day at work, arriving early and staying a little late each day. Try not to be absent at all during the first two to three months.
  • Ask intelligent questions related to your job–it shows a desire to learn and seek guidance from others.
  • Take the initiative with new assignments to show your motivation and willingness to pitch in.
  • Observe how your co-workers communicate- whether they text message each other, only talk personally in certain areas of the office, have open- or closed-door policies, etc. Keep your online communications professional- don’t send inappropriate or personal emails, like jokes or forwards. These are corporate culture practices, so follow your co-workers’ examples.
  • Dress professionally. During your first few weeks you should dress a step above what is expected. Keep in mind that your attire reflects upon your work ethic and character.
  • Have a positive attitude. Smile--let your excitement for being a new part of the group show to everyone you meet.
  • Take pride in your team. Realize that you are now a part of a team working together to achieve positive results. Express your loyalty to your co-workers and during your first few weeks, share any recognition you get, giving credit to the team.
  • Know whom you are working with. Learn the names of your co-workers as quickly as possible. This simple gesture will help them view you as one of the team, not a visitor.
  • Talk about the present and the future, not about your past jobs. Keep an open mind to new ways of doing things and save your opinions for a few weeks, until you have settled into your new position, unless people are looking to you for improvements and constructive criticism.
  • Be cautious about office gossip. Be aware of the office grapevine, which can be helpful in revealing the true office culture, but don’t contribute to it. If you take part in talking about others, especially when you are new, you risk damaging your reputation and trustworthiness.
  • Keep your desk organized and professional. When starting a new position, don’t turn your desk or office space into a showcase for your personality and interests. Limit personal items such as photos and plaques to one or two items. Additionally, devising an effective company system for papers and supplies right from the start will help prevent clutter and chaos down the road.


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