What Can Make Or Break Your First Month On the Job
Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, CERW, CEMC, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, named one of Forbes “Top 100 Career Websites”.
You may have wondered if all of your hard work would ever pay off, but it finally has. You have worked hard to find a perfect fit for your career and you are at your dream job. Your life is right where you wanted it to be. Depending on the nature of the job, you may be thrown right into the fire and be slammed with work right away. However, most employers will ease you into the new role to allow you to get a better feel for your position, your co-workers, and the overall culture in general.

You know the first month at your new job is critical. You will be setting the standard of your work and becoming familiar with systems and processes you can’t develop or learn through reading about it. So what else do you need to know other than the basic skills? Besides the hands-on responsibilities of the job, there are several critical things to do during the first month or two of your new job.

Go above and beyond the job duties given to you during the first month.

Company Culture

Even before the first interview, you no doubt did some research about the culture of your new company. Now you will find out if what you learned is true. You’ll receive first-hand knowledge and experience to determine how people operate on a daily basis. You should have a basic knowledge of the company’s culture before you even begin your first day, as this is the reason many people don’t make it at their new company. Taking further steps to ensure you fit in as much as possible will benefit you as well. When you start the job, notice what is going on around you. Try to sit back and just absorb what is happening, what your colleagues are like, and what expectations are.

Connect with Others

Make as many connections as you can with those inside the company during that first month. You may have seen some of your co-workers’ LinkedIn profiles, but stop by and have a short conversation whenever you have a chance. Be friendly and sociable. This goes for anyone outside of your department, as well. Connect with them on a work level and a personal level, as appropriate, so they will get a sense of who you are, and you will establish your reputation along the way. You will also get a sense of who they are and what is expected. Because you are new, you’ll be the new toy in the office and people will go out of their way to get to know you. This isn’t malicious but you are the fresh, interesting new face and many times just what that department needs.

Credibility Will Set the Standard

You sold yourself  through your resume and interview. Now it is time to prove that what you said is true. Go above and beyond the job duties given to you during the first month. Building this credibility right away will help set the standard and give others the impression they can rely on you to get the job done. Do the job you were brought in to do, and do it efficiently. Don’t make others wait on you. Contribute when asked. Go above and beyond.

Don’t Be Too Eager

You may have been on the sidelines for a while and are ready to jump in with both feet. Just be careful about being too ambitious, since you don’t want to show up anyone during your first month. Don’t act like you know what to do immediately. This may rub people the wrong way. This goes for questioning internal policies and procedures as well. It’s ok to make suggestions at times, but it’s also important to understand every company operates differently and some of these things need to be accepted without rocking the boat. Give yourself a couple of months before you show them the rock star you are.

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