Five Tips for Success When Starting a New Job

“Hi. I’m new here. My name is Kate.”

This simple phrase may sound obvious, but it’s an easy way to make a good impression when you start a new job.

As one of the newest team members at Eckel & Vaughan, I’ve had my fair share of “Hi, I’m new here” moments in the past two months. It’s not always easy being the new kid on the block, but here are a few simple tips to make the onboarding process easier for yourself and the rest of your new team.

1 Introduce yourself.

It’s your first day. You’ve met so many new people. But unfamiliar faces keep walking in and out of the office. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself if you run into someone you don’t know yet. Offer your name and your new role, and you’ll likely make an impression and be thanked for making the effort.

2 Speak up when you don’t know something.

Think you’re supposed to know everything on your first day? Think again. If you’re coming from a different industry, taking on a promotion, or just moving to a competitor, you can expect a learning curve. Your new employer understands that, and they want you to speak up when you need more information. In my experience, asking for clarification is seen as a strength, not a weakness.

3 Ask questions. A lot of them.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The quickest and easiest way to learn is to ask someone who knows. When you take on a new project, client, or set of responsibilities, your coworkers will understand that you need to get up to speed. They’ll be appreciative if you take the time to ask up front instead of faking your way through it.

4 Offer to help.

During the first few weeks on the job, your day-to-day may feel slow while you’re being assigned new projects. If that’s the case at your new gig, offer to help your co-workers with their workload. Listen during meetings when people mention they have a lot on their plate; then ask if you can help. They’ll be grateful for your offer, and it’s a great way to quickly learn what’s going on at the company.

5 Join in the water cooler talk.

It’s easy to feel like an outsider if you join a company filled with people who have worked together for years. Take it upon yourself to join in the non-work-related conversations from the start. From last night’s TV show or college basketball game to favorite local restaurants, these conversations are a quick way to find commonalities with your new co-workers, and they give you a chance to learn the company culture.

Starting a new gig can be fun, challenging, and exciting. I hope these five tips will help make your onboarding as seamless as possible. Good luck!