THE INC. LIFE

7 Things New Hires Must Do During Their First Days On The Job

First impressions can make or break your first few weeks in the company

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BY Jared Carl Millan - 04 Aug 2017

new hires

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

So you’ve finally landed a new job and are excited to explore this new chapter in your life. That’s great. Pat yourself on the back for finally emerging out of the whirlwind that is job hunting.

Before you dive into it, here are some things you have to do in order to effectively navigate the intricacies of being a new hire in a new company.

1. Make a good first impression

You only get one chance to do it, that’s why it has to count. And if you’re a new hire, it can make or break your first few weeks and even months in the company. While presenting a false version of yourself to the world is doing yourself a disservice, it doesn’t hurt to play up your strengths and polish your people skills. You want to be as personable and professional as you can. In other words, give people a reason to want to work with you.

In a Psychology Today story, author Arthur Dorbin, D.S.W. says that while substance has more weight than style in the long run, making a great first impressions still matter. “If you had never seen or heard of Einstein, the first time you saw him your impression would most likely be negative,” he writes. “The problem is that few of us are Einsteins and we often don’t get the chance to rectify a negative first impression.”

2. Familiarize yourself with the culture

Understand the company’s vision and mission. Learn the dynamics between colleagues and higher ups. See what kind of interactions occur within the office. Take your role as a newbie to observe everything with a fresh lens, study them, and then learn from them.

3. Know the organizational chart 

Knowing the company’s organizational chart gives you an understanding of how everything operates, who is responsible for what, as well as your role in the well-oiled machine that is the company. Who are your immediate supervisors, your team members, your higher ups, and the HR? Dedicate your first few weeks in the office to know who these people are, and, if possible, start building rapport with them.

4. Interact with your team

Take some time to really get to know your colleagues—what makes them tick, how they work or interact with one another. Understanding them offers you a better perspective of them not only as colleagues, but as human beings.

It also helps to bond with them outside the office’s four walls. “Always sign up for social gatherings. It will turn your colleagues into friends,” says Chris Chong, founder of Singapore start-up SumoStory. Not only is it a great way to build camaraderie with your team, but it also boosts team spirit and morale.

5. Don’t be afraid to speak up

Get ready to get your hands dirty the moment you step foot into the office. Don’t wait to be given instructions; actively seek them out. “[Don’t] wait for the company or your boss to direct you but have the initiative to drive things on your own and provide ideas,” says Chong.

“Don’t worry about the Asian custom of ‘saving face.’ Speak your honest opinion since ideas should be judged based on merit and not on the age of the person giving them,” he adds.

6. Make sure you have all necessary equipment

From security badges, IDs, and calling cards to a stable Internet connection, a working computer and other necessary equipment, make sure you have access to the things you need to do your job. Now all you have to worry about is doing it well.

7. Ask

Being in an unfamiliar environment is bound to bring up questions and a whole lot of confusion. Hence, you should never be afraid to ask about your job responsibilities, standard procedures to be followed, or the way the company operates. As a new hire, you’re prone to make minor mistakes that can be avoided by simply asking. Chong says: “Try not to have an ego and never assume anything, always ask if you are unsure.”