Howdy guys! Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Gosh the days and weeks fly by don’t they?
Last week was a bit special for yours truly because it was the last week of my gardening leave.
Gardening leave is leave which your employer grants so you can better take care of your garden.
“Go home and don’t come back until you get that filthy garden cleaned up.”
No, I lie, unfortunately – the real definition of gardening leave is:
“An employee’s suspension from work on full pay for the duration of a notice period, typically to prevent them from having any further influence on the organization or from accessing confidential information”.
Suffice to say, I’ll be starting at a new employer tomorrow and was thinking how best to mentally prepare myself for the first day.
What I came up with is 5 simple, easy and effective ways to ingrain myself into the new work environment.
Just like meeting anyone for the first time, the first impression is often the most important.
People’s impression of you comes down to appearance and body language. Better to over-dress rather than under-dress.
Be inquisitive and show interest in your colleagues and the task at hand but don’t go overboard with the eager beaverness, play it cool, play it suave.
And please – don’t be late!
Write it down
Whenever I have been introduced to a new colleague, you can pretty much tell within the first day or two how they will perform on the job with one simple habit.
Do they write down what they’ve been taught?
The first day (week for that matter), is when you should be a humanoid sponge.
Sponge all of the information down – you can filter through the relevance in your downtime, but in the meantime write it all down!
You’ll never learn through mere listening alone – especially when you’ll be bombarded with so much info on the first few days.
Personally I use Evernote which organizes all your notes digitally.
However if you’re not so inclined, you can’t go past an old fashioned A4 notepad!
You’ve got the job now and that’s why you’re here – they believe in you so believe in yourself!
So relax and enjoy yourself on the first day – it’ll be the only day when expectations are the lowest.
Smile and relax, show initiative and ask questions.
Don’t sit back and be a shrinking violet!
If you’re lucky, your new team might even take you out to lunch to get to know everyone better.
Remember that time when you first exchanged messages with that cute boy/girl online and then when you meet in person, some aspects aren’t what you expect?
Similar in the workforce – there’s only so much you can garner from your interview, research and discussions.
More often than not the actual job isn’t what you expected 100% – so make sure you keep an open mind with both the role and your team.
Don’t judge anyone or anything too quickly, listen and observe the unwritten rules and most importantly – keep expectations low!
Have a plan
To ensure greater success in your job, formulate a plan as to how to tackle the job going forward.
Many workplaces have induction programs which have a set onboarding agenda for their new employees, a timeline of what and when to achieve certain tasks and what to expect in the first day, week, month and quarter.
However it doesn’t hurt to have your own personal goals and objectives as to what you want to achieve.
For example, my personal 30/60/90 plans are:
30 Day – Attend relevant training courses, contact key internal stakeholders, learning systems and policies, shadowing team-mates and reviewing client profiles.
60 Day – Reviewing best practice, building relationships with colleagues, continuing training and shadowing, contact external stakeholders, further understanding systems and policies, obtain management feedback, first client interactions.
90 Day – Consolidating system and policy knowledge, finding daily rhythm, ongoing management feedback, continuing client interactions.
Hoping this will make me a howling success at the new job!
There you have it – 5 quick and easy things which I’ll try and implement on my first day of work tomorrow, wish me luck!
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