You have reached to this page because you are starting a new job, or you already have. Either way you just want to make sure you do your best and make sure you survive your probation period and secure this position for good.
Well you have landed at right place.
Today, I will list points for you in three different sections:
- What you should do on your first day?
- What you should do in your first week?
- What you should do for the first month?
This way you will get enough tips to sustain and maintain your image among your colleagues.
I want to share a full proof plan with you which will 100% secure your job, if you follow it exactly what I mentioned below. But, before we even start. Let me be super clear here. There are some ground rules, if you follow them you will achieve exactly what you came here for. If not, then you learn what you did wrong and may be in next job you can improvise on it. CLEAR?
So, let’s get started:
- SMILE: Yes, it’s very important When you join into a new job. You must smile appropriately. Specially when you are greeting new inmates. This showcase that you are bringing lots of positive energy to the team with fresh skills. It also represents that you are excited to be here and welcoming everyone around you into your new life.
- KEEP EYE CONTACT: When you get introduced with different people in your team make sure you maintain your eye contact with them all the time. As this signifies your confidence and they get into their unconscious mind that you know what you are talking about.
- USE THE RIGHT TONE: Neither low nor high. You must use a right tone while you are talking with your colleagues. It is very important NOT to be loud when you are around your colleagues. Loudness implies to dictatorship. Also, if you sound very low your image will be painted as a person who enjoys domination.
- BE YOURSELF: Don’t try to express yourself as you are someone else. I can understand you have changed your previous job because of some reason. But that does not mean you can change yourself and get settled in your new one. Always make sure when you are around your colleagues you express your identity with confidence.
- COME ON TIME: Always come on time. If your commute time to reach at your work is 1 hour, make sure you leave at least 1 hour 20 minutes before. You need to be at office early; before time (9 o’clock). This will demonstrate your punctuality and management of time.
- NO OFF SICK’s FOR 90 DAYS: Please do not take any off sick’s for first 90 days. I must say that if you got a flu you should not take a sick off day. Always try to make it and in very extreme condition when you feel you can’t do it at all. Speak with your line manager face to face and ask for a day off. This gives your line manager a chance to initiate a trust worthy relationship with you.
- DRESS SMART: I understand that it’s a visual thing, but it showcases your willingness to do something to get accepted soon. Overdress is always something you will be told of later. But, until that you can wear a smart dress so that your colleagues accept the fact that you took proper timeframe to get accepted into the clan.
Let’s move on to our next section.
What to do on the first day of work?
Prepare your Attire and Bag a day before: Your first day is very important at your work. Obviously, there is a need of someone like you in the organisation. That’s why they hired you. And they must have taken various interviews before finalising you. So,basically everyone is looking forward for you to come and join. Which means high expectations. And it is difficult to satisfy high expectations when you even don’t know what kind of culture and working environment you are going to be in soon.
So, it’s always a good idea to have your fundamental bits sorted so that you can justify your role accordingly. Make sure you prepare your dress/attire a day before. Try it, ask your partner or look into the mirror if everything is perfect and then just place it on a hanger to be available for you as early morning success for you. Similarly prepare your bag. Have your lunch box ready too. Its always a good idea to bring your food with you on your first day.
Wake up Early: When you wake up early, you have lots of time to start your day. If you are a person like me who wants to enjoy early morning breakfast, then waking up early can significantly help you out. It also has other benefits like you can do a little bit of stretching or exercise. Doing a bit of exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.
Not just that but also exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
Shake Hands (Strong): A firm handshake is always a good point of start. There is a famous quote
“A firm, hearty handshake gives a good first impression, and you’ll never be forgiven if you don’t live up to it.” – P. J O’Rourke
Early, in the age in German army when a Sargent have no interest in meeting they use to do loose handshakes i.e., all other time it has to be a firm strong handshake.
That does not mean that you press your colleagues’ hands and break their bones. No not at all. You must be firm enough so that person shaking hand with you know you are energetic and gets good first impression. I would personally suggest that a firm hand shakes with all male colleagues and not so firm but a normal one with female colleagues.
Get to know your Colleagues: Knowing your colleagues is always a good idea. And to leave a first impression, I will give you a trick. I understand that on your first day you cannot remember everyone’s name. Although, if you use a Chinese technique called chunking you will be able to remember a few names. I will tell you how.
When you get introduced with your colleagues and hear their names you connect them with your previous colleagues or friends and family. For example, if you meet David or Chris you can connect them instantly in your mind with your brother in law David and your previous boss Chris. This way you will remember their names. Obviously next time you are communicating with them you can address them by there name and voila you are the star.
This improves your memory as well as your confidence in front of your colleagues.
What to do first week of work?
Get to know your Line Manager: Usually, when you join a new organisation. You get assigned a line manager. This line manager is someone who receives you from the reception or later take you to a room for initial briefings.
It is always a good idea to get to know him. What he/she likes, who is in his family, where he lives, etc. But, more importantly you need to understand that what is his pain points in current organisation. It might be related to current project/product or resourcing issues. Whatever it is; if you know what he is not happy about. There is a clear opportunity for you to solve and prove your ability to solve issues.
Try to speak up in their Linguae (colleagues): It is been proved by scientist that when you meet new people. They are always looking for similar personalities. Have you ever noticed in your university days that why all your friends had similar hobbies and interests like you? That’s because you get attracted to people who are like you or at least thinks like you.
This really helps when you want to make a group of people comfortable around you. Pick up few words which you hear while you were sitting with your team. Use them back in your senescence’s and see the response you get back.
I am sure if you follow this trick there is nothing you are losing but again if you can get into the clan early then why not.
Study the organisation and culture: Most of the multinational organisation have their culture pretty much similar to each other. As they have to manage huge diversified workforce as well as keep them productive. This is only possible if they have a great culture and streamlined ways of working. Although, nowadays small companies are also focussing on their culture and environments.
For you being at a new place and surrounded by new people it is very important to learn their culture and ways of working. I mean imagine, if you don’t want to be at a place which does not suit your lifestyle at all. Would you rather get out of it early or just stay there until they kick you out?
Similarly, if you learn the culture then there is 9 out of 10 chances you will adapt it and gel up. So, why not start doing that straight away.
Ask Questions: Don’t be a question mark and ask silly questions around just to point out that you want to get involved in the conversations. While, you are learning about the organisation you also have to learn about the project you are going to get involved in. This means you have to process lot of information from old PPT’s, Excel Spreadsheets and Word documents.
Although, reading is not the best way to collect information. You might find it very interesting to know that humans are very good in remembering things which happen with them i.e., if you discuss something with your colleagues that will remain in your head for much longer than compared to what you read or listen.
This makes your ability to ask relevant and non-obvious questions super important. Because when your colleagues realise that you are asking level 2 questions then you will get answers as well as bonus points of being proactive in conversations.
What I mean by level 2 questions? Well,level one questions are obvious questions. About project fundamentals, some top-level procedures, hierarchy etc. Although, level 2 questions are somewhat 1 level deep questions which need subject matter experts to think and answer.
What to do first month at work?
First 90 minutes of the day: Remember one thing as you have passed your first week of work. That means you are not allowed to say following words again:
- I am new here.
- I have not heard about it before.
- I am fresh meat.
Now, you have to speak like this:
- I am still learning about it.
- This seems a little odd, but I will make sure I will confirm and get back to you.
- Can I please come back to you with more information later?
I have learnt that nobody wants to hear straight No for their questions it’s a human tendency. Hence, the best way to interact with your colleagues is to first know about the topic and then respond back accordingly.
I can understand that it’s not easy to be 100% productive during your initial days. But there is a way which can definitely help you. Here it comes:
I have come up with this theory of first 90 minutes of the day, you might be able to spot it with different names online. But, here is how you can implement it in real life.
- Buy a stop watch and put it on your desk. – BIG NUMBERS
- Set the stop watch to 90 minutes and Start it once you are at your desk early in the morning.
- Switch off your mobile phone or anything which could distract you from your work.
- Try to finish 80% of your work in first 90 minutes, because you can. Yes, the first 90 minutes of your work day is very important. You are full of energy. Have your to do list for today. And you have all motivation to be super productive.
Note: I am not asking to do all your meeting or programming tasks within 90 minutes. But all the preliminary essentials like;
- Preparing for your stand-up (what you have done yesterday, what’s your plan today and any impediments)
- Send out any meeting invites you have to send.
- Prepare for any meetings which you are going to attend.
- Any outstanding and follow-up tasks from yesterday.
This way you will be always one step ahead and can be a go to person soon in your team.
As, I mentioned above about get to know your line manager. Same way if you understand problems of your colleagues then you can find lot of opportunities lying around. This will give you an idea about which problems you can take initiatives for. I mean what is better than making your colleagues life easy.
So, basically follow steps below:
- Get to know your problems and issues your line manager is facing.
- Get to know problems and issues your colleagues are facing.
- Filter them according to your understanding, available solution (if any) and complexity.
- Select top 3 and start taking initiative to solve them.
Ask for feedback:
Have you ever heard this phrase “Fail First”? It is always better to fail first and understand why you have failed. Remove that from your approach and redo the same thing again and improvise and ultimately pass with honours.
Same way when you finish your first week of work. You set up a one to one meeting with your line manager and set up reasonable expectations.
Make sure you document it somewhere and share it with him so that you both have it in writing.
This helps you to define an achievable goal within a timeframe. And again, once you have achieved/NOT achieved it you can go back to your manager and take some feedback.
Following this approach will give an advantage of quantifying your performance metrics.