Starting a new job is an adventure and a challenge. There are so many new variables with which you must familiarize yourself: new colleagues, new cultures, new ways of doing things, new knowledge, know industries and new required skillsets, just to name a few. Below are a few things I tend to do to help myself navigate through the first few months on the job
- Work hard. A bit obvious heh? Starting a new job means that you start behind almost everyone one else in the team. If you want to take on new responsibilities and advance in the future, put in a couple of hours before 8am or after 5pm on workdays and on the weekends. Once you have a solid footing on the job, you can take your foot off the gas pedal a bit. Personally, I prefer not working too much unless I really have to; which is usually the case whenever I start a new job. If the job is technical such as programming, hone your coding skills by reading others’ code or complete online classes. If the job is more qualitative such as digital marketing for retail, read about digital marketing tools, concepts, metrics and the industry.
- Verify your work privately first. It’s important to have a round of validation first on whatever you are about to publish with other teams. Have your teammates preferably, and perhaps your boss help you validate your work internally. It’s better than to go back and forth, wasting the credibility you might have
- Ask questions and take notes. Ask a lot of questions in the first two months. People understand that you are new and are lenient to your mistake as well as willing to answer questions that would become basic knowledge in a while. At the same time, take meticulous notes. Though understanding and lenient, your colleagues don’t want to repeat what they already said multiple times. I strive not to ask the same questions more than twice. Everyone will be pleased to see you spend effort on jotting down notes.
- Request challenging projects. I am tasked with three difficult projects at work now even though I have been four months on the job and in this industry. Even though they are a bit scary since I don’t want to look stupid, having to work on real challenging projects enables me to learn a lot more about not only programming in SQL Server, SAS, but also retail banking data which is by no means straightforward or easy. I read somewhere a quote that goes like this or to some extent: mountains are always high and daunting. The only way to conquer them is to actually climb them.
Hope whatever I have to share here helps and if you have anything else to share from your personal experience, feel free to leave a note in the comment section. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.