Tips for a Stress Free First Day on the Job

Over the years I’ve hired dozens of people. Some have been more successful than others at mastering day 1 at the new job. I have compiled some of the best tips from these individuals, and I am happy to share them with you here:

  1. Meet the team ahead of time:  Reach out before day 1 and break bread or have coffee with your new boss and/or your teammates.  There is nothing like getting a head start on bonding with the team you’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with in the trenches.
  2. Chart it out: Figure out the organizational structure.  Know who’s who; who reports to whom.  If you can … find images of your teammates and senior management on line so you can greet them by name day 1.
  3. Begin a project:  Dig in ahead of time.  Jump start the work on your first assignments and trade a few emails with teammates you’ll be working with.  Nothing like building rapport sooner rather than later.
  4. Look to the future: Look ahead and create a plan for what exceptional performance would be for the first 90 days and the first year. Confirm this with your manager when you start — “Wow” him/her.
  5. Contingency plan-plan-plan:   Prepare for the unexpected.  Put back-ups to the back-ups in place, e.g., have access to extended child/pet care and transportation.  Expect the unexpected — particularly if you’ve moved into a “long hour” or “fire fighting” culture.
  6. Know thy boss: Learn as much about your boss ahead of time.  Get the inside scoop from people who used to work for him/her. Here are some of the questions you can ask: What kind of management style works for your boss? What does you boss most value in the people who report to him/her? How does your boss fit within the larger power structure at the company?

As you can see prior planning and preparation is key to a successful first day at a new job. Good luck!

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