I’m going to start a new job later this month. I’m excited about it. The company seems very cool. The people I’ve met so far are awesome people. They are smart and fun and curious. I’ve worked with three of my new co-workers at other companies so I feel very comfortable walking into the job.
I already told my new boss “Flip” about a vacation I have scheduled in April. What else do I need to know or think about? I’m going to take a lot of notes and ask people their names a few times until I get everything set in my mind. I’m going to start out in training for a few days and then I’m going to shadow another employee.
Do you have any other advice for me? This is definitely the best job I have had yet so I want to make a good impression and avoiding doing anything stupid.
Congratulations on the new job! That is magnificent news.
Taking notes is a fantastic idea. In your first week, ask enough questions to get an understanding of these elements:
1) What are the working hours? Will you always work in the same location? Will you get an ID? How do you get in and out of the building? If you drive to work, where will you park?
2) What is the dress code? What’s considered appropriate work attire?
3) What are your break and lunch schedules? How does overtime work? When will you get paid? Where will you go for lunch, or if you bring your lunch where will you eat it?
4) Who is your supervisor, and what is their job title? What is their role in the company? Who else do they supervise, apart from you? How will you communicate with them?
5) Who will train you, and how will they do it? When will you start actually performing the job every day?
6) What is the job description? How will you spend your time at work? What are your biggest priorities every day, week and month? What are some of the problems and situations you’ll encounter on a typical workday?
7) How is your performance measured or evaluated? How and when will you get feedback or guidance about how to perform your job?
8) How does your team communicate? Do you have meetings and if so, how do those meetings work?
9) Who should you ask for help when you get stuck?
10) Who are your internal and external customers — and what does each of them want from you?
As you dig into the job, trying not to get overwhelmed with all the information you’re taking in, here are ten things you don’t want to do:
Ten Things Never, Ever To Do In Your First Week On The Job
1. Call in sick if you can help it
2. Get into an argument with anyone, about anything
3. Ask for time off (apart from emergencies)
4. Make suggestions for improvement (unless you are asked to)
5. Come in late or leave early
6. Dress less than professionally
7. Share too much about your personal life
8. Say “Here’s how we took care of this issue at my old company…”
9. Ask a co-worker out on a date
10.Disparage any person, process, department or entity
Who would do any of these things, you ask? A lot of people do. They feel nervous about walking into a new place and meeting new people. Their nerves can make them do and say things they wouldn’t normally do.
Taking notes, focusing on whatever you’re being taught, observing or trying for the first time and working to get answers to the ten questions above will help to keep you calm and centered.
Every night after training, reflect on the day. Put each day’s learning into the context of the bigger picture. A month from now your muscles will be huge and you’ll feel great about how much you’ve already learned about your new role.
Have a great time in the job, and congratulations on your big step!
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This content was originally published by Forbes Magazine. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By Forbes Magazine