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Survive Your First Week on a New Job

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Starting your first week on a new job can be a rather tough experience. You want to prove yourself, but even one little and seemingly unimportant thing can make you drop the ball. After all, they do not teach you in college the fastest and most effective way to remember your colleagues and clients’ names or who to call first if your copy machine suddenly quit working.

Just accept it as given: you will not get much to do within the first week on a new job but will most likely be running small errands and bothering people about things they are not interested in and have no time to explain.
The good news is your new job is your chance to challenge the old stereotypes. Using certain tricks that we will tell you about, you will get through all the pitfalls smoothly. Here is the list of to-do and never-to-do things you should be aware of if you are starting your first week on a new job:

How to remember everybody’s name?

Asking for a person’s name on your first day in a new office is OK but be careful to do that only once. If you do that repeatedly, a person might get the impression, you are either not attentive or not interested. If you are not sure about your ability to memorize people’s names quickly and accurately, you had better spend some time over homework.

Your company most likely has its own website with the section where employees’ pictures, names and titles are posted. Take the trouble of learning the names of your co-workers and you will be surprised to see how much that can affect people’s attitude.

If that is still a too difficult thing to do, take a step-by-step approach to the problem: learn the names of co-workers who you find to be most helpful and start out from there. You can even consider making a cheat sheet to keep at hand and use it whenever you need help.

There is a certain time interval that lasts for a couple of weeks when people at work are willing to put up with your not remembering their names.

Who to befriend first?

It is a good idea to start with your office manager. This person meets everyone who comes into and out of the office and can give you valuable advice when you are at your wits end. Are you vainly trying to schedule a conference room? Need someone to help you find a good place for lunch? Your office manager is the right person to address your questions to.

How to keep your communication lines open?

The best thing to do is to stay approachable. Do not wait for your co-workers to take you to lunch. Do it on your own account. For example, if you decide to pour yourself a cup of coffee, ask everybody who is sitting close to you whether they would like to join you.

The faster you will break the ice, the more comfortable your new job experience will be.
Here are a couple of never-to-do things that you should keep in mind:

• Do not make promises you cannot fulfill.

Over-promising puts you at risk for not being able to cope with everything in time. Set your deadlines wisely. Prioritize tasks. If you are not sure about how much time a particular task will require, it is better to ask your project manager or supervisor. This will not only keep you in clear about your new job requirements and expectations but will also give you a chance to talk to someone who knows everything about how things are done here.

• Don’t be too quick to change things.

It is OK to be enthusiastic about your new job. Just remember there are people who have been there longer than you have and might be used to doing things differently. Take some time to learn why things are done in a different way. The odds are, you might actually start seeing the reason behind such practices.
As soon as you get more comfortable at your new workplace, you can try to approach others with your suggestions. Note that such suggestions should be addressed to someone who is in charge of the decision-making process in your company, not your equals. Otherwise, you will simply waste your time and give everybody the impression of being a show-off.

Overall, your first week on a new job is a great time that is worth enjoying. Try to stay genial and positive and you will make it!


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