New Year, New Job — How to Survive Your First Week

After weeks or months of searching, you are finally starting a new role. Even as an established professional, the first week at a new position can be intimidating. Here are tips to help that week run as smoothly as possible.

Take copious notes — Be ready to jot down everything from your supervisor’s schedule, to names of major clients, to where to find the extra coffee filters. The first week is filled with information overload, and in the stress and excitement it’s natural that some things will get lost in the shuffle. Spend some time at the end of each day organizing your notes so you don’t lose track of the information.

Make contacts — Your first week will be spent meeting coworkers, supervisors, human resource professionals, and others. Whenever possible, ask for a business card. Most people have more than enough to go around, and it will help you to remember names and organize contacts. For internal and external contacts you may see less frequently, a physical card can be a helpful mental reminder during those first few weeks. This is particularly true if you are working at a larger company where there are too many people to remember. Card or no card, take the opportunity to meet as many people as you can the first week. You never know when having a contact in another department will prove helpful.

Manage your paperwork — There is an overwhelming amount of paperwork involved when beginning a new job. Still, it is worth your time to read everything, and make a copy of anything you sign. Additionally, you need to know the details of your internal policy agreement. It is important to use the first week to learn those policies, so you do not find yourself surprised months, or even years, down the road. You will be glad you kept a copy for your reference.

Stay focused — This is a critical time for making first impressions. Be sure to bring your best to the office by doing what you need to do in order to be refreshed, energetic, and positive. Daily exercise, recharging through a few moments by yourself in the morning, and eating healthy meals will all have an impact to help you get through this busy and often overwhelming week.

The first week at a new job can be a whirlwind of activity, meetings, training, and policies. Use the time wisely to establish yourself at your new company and set the groundwork for a successful start at your new job.

About Charlotte Weeks - Executive Career Coach / Executive Resume Writer / Outplacement Consultant

Prior to founding Weeks Career Services, Inc. Charlotte Weeks worked in human resources at a national association, where she experienced the hiring process from the other side. She's also the past president of The National Resume Writers' Association (The NRWA). Charlotte specializes in providing C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.), association executives, executive directors and senior-level professionals (director, VP, SVP, etc.) with comprehensive career coaching services and high-ROI resumes. She is author of "I Want a Job in an Association -- Now What?? A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society" and featured author of "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career." Additional book contributions include "The Twitter Job Search Guide," "Resumes That Pop!," and "Step-by-Step Cover Letters." As an internationally-recognized expert, Charlotte provides programs and documents tailored to each individual’s needs. To ensure that each person is given the highest quality of attention and service, Charlotte works with a limited number of new clients each month.
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