Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and you’ve landed a great job after a long search. But wait, all of your work isn’t done yet. There are several things to take care of both before you start the job and throughout your first few weeks to ensure you make a good first impression in your new role.
• Continue to research the company. You’ve already done some research to prepare for your interview, but now it’s time to dig a little deeper to discover corporate structure (especially within your department) and any recent events or happenings in the news.
• Dress professionally. It’s always a good idea to dress more professionally (but within reason) than others in your office for the first few weeks. Your image and overall professionalism gives an indication of you and your work ethic.
• Arrive early. Make sure you’ve mapped out the best way to get to the office during rush hour. Give yourself enough time to park and still be in the office at least 15 minutes early. Also, make sure you aren’t the first one to leave at the end of the day.
• Bring the correct identification. You will need ID to complete the I9, which is required by law for all workers in the US. If you are unsure what forms of ID are acceptable, the Department of Homeland Security has a reference sheet available here. Depending on the job you may also need other documents such as professional licenses, diplomas or your license plate number and vehicle information. It is important to get all of the new hire paperwork completed the first day, so make sure you know how to fill out the W4 and other tax documents.
• Ask questions. If you don’t know the correct process or how to do something, speak up. It is better to ask questions, than fumble along blindly. Just make sure to take notes so you don’t ask the same questions over and over.
• Get to know your coworkers. You are going to be spending a lot of time with these people. Getting along with them can make or break your experience. Be polite and friendly to everyone and try your best not to get involved in office politics.
• Plan your day and week ahead. Make sure you mark on your calendar any impending deadlines, meetings and other events you will be attending. This will help ensure you have enough time to complete your initial tasks and projects to the best of your ability.
• Separate your personal and professional lives. Keep your personal phone calls, emails and Facebook posts to your lunch and other breaks.
Remember, your employer obviously thinks you are a good fit for this position, or you wouldn’t have gotten the job. Give the job a chance; it may take several weeks before you feel completely comfortable in your new role. So be confident, have a positive attitude and keep an open mind. Best of luck!