The first month in a new job is arguably one of the most critical, as it can set the tone for your entire tenure with the company. Your actions and reactions can make or break your reputation at your new company and can impact your entire career, says Todd Dean, co-founder and CMO of mobile employment app Wirkn. Here are Dean's six tips for making your first month at a new role one of your best.
1. Do your homework
Before you head into the office for your first day, you should have done extensive homework. You're trying to discover as much as you can about your new role, how it fits into the larger business strategy of the company and also learn about the culture.
"You need to show up on your first day with an almost global scope in mind -- what's your role, how you can impact the company on a larger scale, and you also need to learn as much as possible about cultural norms and the company's mission and values before you even walk in the door," Dean says.
2. Converse and connect
As you're introduced to your new colleagues, peers and superiors, ask informal, conversational questions to help you connect with them on a personal level, Dean says. Make a strong first impression on your colleagues by preparing informal, conversational questions that will help you connect with them on a personal level.
"Answer questions about yourself, obviously, and engage in conversation. But try and turn the conversation around to your new coworkers to show interest in learning about them as a person, not just the person in the next cube," Dean says.
Don't forget how important understanding the culture is. Speak to people outside your immediate department, set up lunches, figure out how to make those connections and figure out how they do business.
3. Ask for an initial review
Once you have familiarized yourself with your role and feel more comfortable, ask for feedback -- the more, the better. That way you can make sure you are fitting into the expectations and the cultural norms and, if you don't, you can make the necessary adjustments, Dean says.
"Usually, you're finding your stride around week 3 of your new employment, but you haven't gotten far enough to cement bad habits into place. This is a great time to ask for feedback from your boss and your coworkers to see if you're going in the right direction or if you need to change course," Dean says.
4. Be ambitious, but don't rock the boat
You definitely should speak up, contribute to projects and discussions and make recommendations for improvement if you see processes, policies or bottlenecks that seem to be hindering productivity, but do so within reason. As a new hire, you may not understand the context about a policy or process, so tread lightly. Ask questions first, and then assess whether or not you should suggest alternatives, Dean says.
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