9 ways to survive your first week on the job

There are few moments in life as anxiety-heavy as your first week at a new job. There are so many new faces, jargon and data systems to understand. While learning the basics, you’re eager to make a splash and prove yourself to your new coworkers. During this stressful time, it’s nice to have a little guidance on how to survive (and thrive!) your first week on the job.

 

1. Start building relationships

Your first week on the job may be the most time you’ll ever have at the office to get to know your coworkers. Take advantage of your orientation to meet other newbies. Start conversations whenever you meet a new person, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.  Be persistent even if it makes you nervous. Establish a common ground with everyone you meet. Ask them how long they have been on board and if they’re originally from the area. Smile as much as possible, even if you’re feeling like a hot mess on the inside.

 

2. Get organized

You’ll probably have at least a little down time during your first week on the job. Use some of that time to start getting organized immediately. Make email folders, get your work space in order with some folders, binders and pens. Prepare your email signature. Also, you might want to start updating your social media and information to include your new job.

 

first week on the job

 

3. Soak up information and take notes

Your first week on the job is the time to really listen and absorb new information. Before taking action in your new job, you need to understand the basics of how the office operates. Even though you’re going to have questions in the future, the more you write down and understand during your first week, the less you’ll have to ask later on.

 

4. Say “yes” to all invitations

If you get an invite to lunch, dinner, etc – take it. These opportunities are the chance to build critical relationships that improve office communications. The more friends you make early on, the easier it will be to succeed.

 

5. Establish expectations with your boss

Know what your boss is looking for in the first months at your job. You want to make sure you’re on the same page in terms of what’s expected of you and how your success will be measured.

 

first week on the job

 

6. Ask questions (at the right time)

Your first week at work is the perfect time for questions. Just be smart about when you ask them. In the middle of an explanation, you might want to jot down your question and wait to see if the question is answered. Also, take note of which questions are easy to Google or find answers to in a handbook.

 

7. Learn office politics and avoid gossip

Office politics are a part of every office dynamic and can make or break you at your job. Before jumping in with new ideas and critiques, it’s vital to understand how the office works and know who you can trust. You don’t want to rock the boat – especially when it’s unclear how the boat works. Avoid gossip and take everything at face value as you watch your colleagues and learn from their actions.

 

8. Dress for success

Spend some time before you start your job to plan out your first week’s wardrobe. You want to dress in layers, in case the AC is freezing. Err on the side of appearing too formal – a sloppy look will affect how people perceive you. Pay attention to hygiene and grooming. Also, try to dress as comfortable as possible. With all the extra nerves, wearing comfy clothes with be a small comfort.

 

9. Accept all help and advice

Be warm and receptive to assistance – even if you think you can handle things on your own. First of all, it’s a good way to bond with a coworker and find your office allies. Secondly, even if you don’t think you need help, you’ll likely learn at least one new thing with an established colleague at your side.

 

Now that you know how to survive your first week on the job, apply now to gain international internship experience.

 

 

Sources: https://www.themuse.com/advice/your-guide-to-your-first-week-on-the-job, https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/how-to-nail-your-first-week-at-a-new-job-1016, http://www.businessinsider.com/what-successful-people-do-in-a-new-job-2015-10#1-be-a-geek-about-introducing-yourself-1, https://www.buzzfeed.com/gyanyankovich/tips-for-first-day-new-job-new-office?utm_term=.uj6GGOzrBk#.huGdd3qD4x

Photos:

1. based on Work Meeting, by www.amtec.us.com, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Office life…, by Eylon Israely, CC-by-SA 2.0

3. based on Hootsuite Office – Workspace, by Hootsuite, CC-by-2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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