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When you’re starting a new job it’s important to hit the ground running. For many people, their first day is a bit of a blur – walk away having learned your new colleagues’ names and where the canteen is and you can usually consider it a success. However, once this is out of the way you’ll want to make sure that you make a good impression throughout the rest of the week.
From here you can focus more on the wider role, learning the responsibilities and the individual tasks that will make up the core of your day-to-day working schedule.
Within the first week, if not on the first day, you will begin to set up your workspace. You should be issued an access pass (if required), a login for your computer, an email address and depending on your role, potentially a list of accounts for different programmes the company uses.
It’s important during your set up you learn how to use the printer, phone and any other equipment or programmes you are likely to use. It is best to ensure you have access to everything you need when you first start so you can then speak to the IT or HR departments to make any adjustments earlier rather than later.
Finding your way around the physical office shouldn’t take long but learning the dynamics of the team is a different story. Each organisation has its own culture and unspoken rules in a sense which will depend on your role and office. At lunch, does everyone sit together or choose to sit at their desks? When liaising with different departments, how do they interact with one another; do they approach them directly or message via email or skype? When arranging meetings are they usually informal meetings at their desks or arranged formal meetings in pre-booked rooms?
Learning the office culture will take time but don’t forget that it’s okay to ask if there is something you are particularly unsure about.
During the first week, it is likely you will have a meeting with your direct manager. During this meeting your role should be clearly outlined to you, along with any specific objectives for your development. It is important that you are completely sure of what is expected of you in your position. If for any reason you’re unclear of what expectations your manager has of you, ask.
While you may not get a chance to meet everyone in the wider department, you should make a conscious effort to get to know those who you work directly with in the team. Build a professional relationship with your colleagues to better understand their roles in the team and how you should be working with them. Understand their responsibilities and strengths. The more you know about your team and the closer your relationship, the more comfortable you will feel seeking help or advice.
You’ve successfully made it through your first week. You’re already meeting people, getting to know your way around the office and are clear on what you need to do well in your role. What should you be focussing on for the rest of the month?
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