You aced the interview, your references were stellar and you got the job! Smooth sailing from here on, right? Odds are in your favor if you take steps to sustain that positive first impression once you are on the job.
First, talk to your supervisor about your primary job responsibilities. Clarify what will be expected of you and how and when your performance will be evaluated. Also, ask about your department’s goals and how your position contributes to them. This conveys your commitment to your own job as well as your interest in your department’s success.
Get to know your co-workers and understand what they do. Even informal discussions over coffee or lunch can help build rapport and provide insight on how things are done at your new company. Is most communication via e-mail or in person? What is acceptable attire? Do employees tend to come in early or work late? Knowing the unwritten rules is just as important as understanding the employee handbook policies.
Develop a reputation for timeliness and quality in your approach to your work. Companies value employees who can meet deadlines and produce thorough work. Establish yourself as someone who is responsible, reliable, resourceful and knowledgeable. If you have experience that can aid in solving a problem or developing a new process, share it. Employers often look to new staff members for new ideas and fresh perspectives. The visibility you gain by showing initiative may position you to be considered for new assignments or special projects in the future.
Be flexible. You may be asked to do something that you consider outside the scope of your job. View it as an opportunity to show cooperation. Similarly, you may be pulled away from an assignment to work on something different. Priorities may shift beyond your control, and it is critical to be able to adapt to unexpected changes.
Finally, have patience. It takes time to build relationships at work and develop a comfort level with your new responsibilities. You may feel frustrated or overwhelmed and second-guess your decision to accept the new position. Give yourself time to grow into the job. The fact that you’ve been hired shows that your employer has confidence in you and your potential. Have that same confidence in yourself!
Being observant as well as proactive during your first few weeks on the job can mean the difference between being labeled as an average new hire or a high-potential member of the team. Do all that you can to get off to the right start.