First, congrats on getting hired.
There is nothing more exciting then receiving a communication from a candidate who has turned the corner to become an employee. After spending months searching, interviewing and preparing, this is the moment we wait for but our job is not done. Our next hurdle is to make sure the candidate stays employed.
Let’s explore what your first 30 days will look like and get you office ready. An employment offer is always contingent on the new hire completing a probation period that typically lasts 90 days or 3 months. Essentially, the leadership wants to be sure you fit within their culture, you can handle their work flow and pacing and you get along with the natives. No company will compromise the harmony within their existing team for one lone talent.
The first 30 days on the job set the stage for your future with the company. Follow these 10 tips to make your first 30 days a positive experience for all.
- Learn, Learn, and then Learn some more – Research, read, observe and take in as much as you can about your new employer. Ask if they have white papers or reports you can read to familiarize yourself with their product line and to gain knowledge about their existing customer base and new markets they may be exploring. Make yourself the resident expert.
- Ask Meaningful Questions –
- Dress to Impress – Adhere to the dress code but always stay sharp. Be sure that your attire is pressed, clean, keep the stains at bay and shoes pristine. Always be impeccably groomed and well put together. Add elements of your personal style as an accent. Stay neutral in the beginning until you get a sense of what is acceptable and unacceptable.
- Be Enthusiastic and Open-Minded – Stay upbeat with the right level of enthusiasm throughout the day. Everyone knows your new, so be open-minded about this new adventure. This is an opportunity to create an entirely new you and shed any negative work experiences from your mind. Positive vibes makes you more approachable and will help others to feel more comfortable to share with you.
- Learn the Rules of Engagement – Take the time to observe and learn how work flow happens across departments, within your team and up the chain of command. Familiarize yourself with the preferred communication style, tools or management platform. Is your office digital forward, a hybrid blend between the old and the new, etc.
- Identify and Befriend Silent Influencers – In every office there are silent influencers. These are the captains of the water cooler, the seasoned team member whose personality and weight of experience knows how to play the chess game. He/ she plays it well too. Find out who this is, be kind to them and take time to learn from him/ her so you steer clear of any messy office politics.
- Search for Quick Wins – When possible, seek out ways to score a quick win. Maybe flag an error in a report or close on a low-hanging opportunities. These do not have to be anything grand. It just needs to show your direct report that he/she made the right choice coming out of the gate.
- Set Realistic Expectations – This is not the time to raise your hand and volunteer for every new project. Sit down with your direct report and set realistic, clear expectations factoring in your learning curve. Often new hires over extend themselves and then quickly become overwhelmed. An employer knows productivity will increase with time. Take the time they are allowing you to get up to speed. Identify the rising stars of the company and then work to mirror their pacing.
- Arrive Early/ Leave Late – We’ve all heard the adage being on time is being late. This is not time to test that theory. Anything can happen from your front door to the office door. Give yourself ample lead time factoring in any unknown variables. It’s better to be 15 minutes early than 10 mins late to a glare of faces looking up at you with a mild annoyance. Do not watch the clock, keep your head down and do your work. When the day ends, let your colleagues leave as you take 10 minutes to prepare your desk for the next day. You’ll find the time goes by faster and your direct report will notice your diligence. Remember, you’re on probation – someone is always watching.
- Keep it Professional – It’s too early in the game for you to be grabbing a drink with your colleagues. Do not mix business and pleasure. Remember, these are your work colleagues and you do not know everyone’s intention. Maybe you beat out Joe’s nephew for the job or Jennifer had applied internally and is angry she wasn’t given the promotion. Be friendly but don’t let your guard down. Friendships will naturally form overtime but in these early times keep it professional at all times.
Make your first 30 days the best ever. We know you will knock it out of the park. Be yourself and enjoy this next phase of your career.