September 30

Office Hours: Navigating the First Six Weeks at a New Job

This post originally appeared on Medium.

Just like anything, you want to make a good impression when you start a new job. This impression can make a lasting impact on how people view you in the months and years to come.

Andrew Albert, Venture For America Community Director for New Orleans, shared the following wisdom and  recommendations that can prove to be useful during your first six weeks and even beyond.

Understand what is expected of you in your role. If you need to ask questions, do so. People will often cut you slack during your first 30-90 days as they understand you’re learning the company culture, how your role operates, and, overall, how to get oriented.

Understanding expectations can give you insight into your performance and what you should be doing on a daily basis. Expectations for the job role can also provide you a roadmap to success in your role. You’ll understand what tasks, projects, or skills you will be tackling during your tenure, and you can get a head start on learning what you need to do to succeed.

You may be in love with your job and everything involved with it, but do understand the separation between your work life with coworkers and your personal life. Work friends may only be your friends at work. If you’re able to separate the two, it will enable you to grow as an individual.

Start documenting everything – all the problems that you see externally and internally. These are not meant to be immediately actionable for you. Instead, the process helps you gain a better understanding of the company and industry and allows you to frame your questions in a more meaningful way.

It’s great to ask questions when you have them, especially when you are new to the job. It’s better to ask than to assume and make a mistake.

The flip side to this is – do your research first. If it isn’t an organizational question, then do a quick internet search on your question. It will either help refine your question or give you the answer you are looking for.

Another practice that may prove useful is to read all your emails, so that by the end of the day, you have zero unread emails. This can go for Slack or Team messages as well. This doesn’t mean you need to reply or complete the task in every email pertaining to you, but it’s good to know the contents, respond to some with at least a “I’ll get to work on it,” and know what your workload looks like with the contents the emails bring.

While not something you would do during your first few weeks at a new job, building a personal Board of Directors (B.O.D.) should be something you start thinking about. Your personal Board of Directors are people who you can rely on to keep you grounded and give you advice.

Your personal Board of Directors can include family, friends, mentors, and others you trust to keep you being you.

There are many things to do and learn when you start a new job. And those early moments can play a key role in your success at the company. Oftentimes, it can be a struggle to find a rhythm , but you should be confident and realize that you’re right where we need to be. Because if the team wasn’t certain you could meet the mark – you wouldn’t have gotten the job. So just take a deep breath and lean on your knowledge and a can-do attitude.