It’s your very first day at your brand-new job.
You’re excited and nervous, unsure of what to expect. You meet with your new supervisor who gives you a quick tour of the place before showing you where you’ll be sitting, with the promise to return after her 9 a.m. meeting to give you more direction.
What do you do now? It’s quiet and you’re alone, with only a copy of your job description.
I’ve been there a few times in the past few years. What do you do on that first day? Where do you begin? Here are the four most important things you should do within your first week at your new job:
- Befriend Human Resources. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’re going to have questions. You’re going to get benefits paperwork, time–off requests and payroll information handed to you in daunting stacks on that first day and you’re going to have questions. If you’ve met a few people from HR it’s much easier to send over an email and ask if they can help you or direct you to someone who can.
- Poke around in the files of the previous person. The last person should’ve left what they were working on and their previous files for you, but you should also poke around the department’s shared files to get a feel for what the overall look and sound of their marketing pieces are. Unless you’re in someone’s private files, you should feel welcome to look around and make notes of things you want to update and work on.
- Jump in and do something on day one. It may not be pretty and it may only be a draft, but if you try, you’ll allow yourself to learn about the company’s wants and needs. You’ll also get a feel for the equipment they have available to you and you’ll know if you need a larger monitor, stylus, or something different entirely.
- Ask questions! No one expects you to start a job and suddenly know everything about the organization and what you’re expected to do. There is always a learning curve with every job. Your supervisor and co-workers want to help you succeed and they want to help you understand why you’re there.
Above all else, try to remain calm and relax. They hired you because they want you and your skills! Be proud of yourself. Starting a new job can be scary, but it can also be extremely fun and fulfilling.