Guide to the First Week on the Job

Guide to the First Week on the Job


In an article on, Laura Katen talks about the Do’s and Don’ts on the first week of your new job. We all know the first day or even week at a new job can be pretty intimidating by following her tips, you will quickly become acclimated to the new company and make a good impression on your boss and coworkers.

Do: Be a Sponge

A lot of new information will be thrown at you the first week on the job and it is your responsibility to absorb as much of it as you can. You will learn everything from the working styles of your teammates, to your company’s culture and goals. By quickly learning this information along with your responsibilities on the team, your work will become more effective.

It is also important to be involved and show that you are excited for this new job opportunity. You can do this professionally by attending all the office meetings even if they don’t specifically pertain to you, and signing up for professional development classes. You can do this socially by always accepting invitations to lunch, happy hour, or office sports leagues. These are easy ways to connect with your coworkers on a personal level.

Don’t: Overcommit Yourself

It is easy to get overwhelmed when you are a new employee. Make sure you feel comfortable completing your work before you volunteer to take on extra projects. You don’t want to appear that you have too much on your plate or that you are not able to handle the work that has been given to you. Once you get a feel on how to balance your schedule and are trained, then you can take on additional work.

Do: Ask Questions

It is expected that you will have questions the first few weeks as you get acclimated to your new job. Never feel embarrassed to ask a question because you are trying to remember a lot of new information in a short period of time and you need to get up to speed. In order to remember the answers to your questions, it is important to write them down. In fact everything you learn the first week should be written down. Having these answers written down will save you from asking the same question twice.

Don’t: Be Afraid To Speak Up  

Don’t be afraid to chime in at a team meeting if you have an idea or a suggestion. It is important that you add value and show you are the right person for the job. However, be careful not to step on anyone’s toes or come off as a know it all. To avoid this, you can phrase suggestions such as “Have you tried this before?” If you were hired to bring a specific skill set to the team, share your knowledge!

 Do: Offer to Help

It is possible that sometime during the first few weeks you will find yourself with nothing to do because your team is adjusting to having you there. If this is the case, seek out work. By doing this you will show initiative, and learn a lot about expectations and procedures. Always make sure your assignments are completed first before volunteering to help however.

Don’t: Turn Down Help Or Advice  

If your boss or co-worker asks if you would like help on a project always say yes. Even though you are capable of finishing it yourself, this is a great opportunity to learn an efficient way to complete the work you are given and bond with a fellow teammate. Furthermore take into account any advice or constructive criticism that you are given.

Do: Find a Mentor

Introduce yourself to an experienced employee and form a position relationship with them. Having a successful, likeable person to bounce ideas off of and show you the ropes will enhance your professional skills and grow your network.

Don’t: Rely Only on Your New Mentor

The co-workers that embrace you the first week on the job will become your go-to for questions and advice. However, remember that the time they take to assist you is taking away from their work. Try to spread your questions out to several different employees, after trying to figure it out yourself of course. Also, don’t forget to show appreciation for everyone that helps you.

Do: Keep Your Boss Informed

During your first few weeks at your new job, ask your boss to schedule a meeting with you once a week. Use this meeting time to update him or her on what you are learning, and gain feedback on projects you are working on or have completed. Make sure you are on track with the information you should be learning and see if there are additional tasks you can take on. Your boss’ feedback is going to be invaluable so be sure to listen and take into account everything they say.

Don’t: Compare Everything to Your Last Job

It is easy to compare everything you liked and disliked about your last job to your new job. Don’t do this however. Your new job is a fresh start so wait a few months before you start to nitpick what you dislike about it. Remember to embrace this new opportunity as it moves you forward in your career.