The first month on the job should be spent studying the office culture and refining a new corporate persona. Before the first day of a new job, it is important to contact a direct supervisor, introduce oneself, and ask if there are any pertinent materials that should be read or studied to become more accustomed to the culture.
Every workplace has policies about expense reports, health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible work or teleworking opportunities. It is important to read and reread all information about how such plans work. It can be a wise strategy to avoid a vacation until being at a new company for at least three months. Young professionals need to establish their work ethic before asking for time off, and to be perceived as serious about the job opportunity. When asked to help out on a project, We advises college graduates to be sure to listen, communicate, and be respectful. No one likes a twenty-something know-it-all, but people love team players.
Additionally, suggests that newly employed college graduates should never doubt the power of observation. The first month is a prime time to figure out how things work at a company, such as how many personal breaks and emails are tolerated, how to order office supplies, how to dress for company events, etc. Similarly, understanding colleagues’ priorities is also important. For example, by spotting family photographs on supervisors’ desks, it is possible to assume they value family life.
The first month is also the right time to thoroughly meet and interact with new colleagues. Young professionals can make a positive first impression if they make eye contact, smile, firmly shake hands, and make notes about people and their roles in the company.
Office lingo can sometimes seem like a foreign language when first entering a new work environment. Deciphering such lingo means reading between the lines. For example, when someone says, “I’ve got too much on my plate,” it could mean that have too many projects to work on, or just want it to seem this way, and want someone to take on one of these assignments. Understanding such cues can help a young professional successfully integrate into an office.
A person’s desk speaks volumes about his or her performance and character. It is important that this space is kept neat and organized from day one. Similarly, it is helpful to take the time to quickly remove items from an email inbox, cross off to-do lists, and to remove emails as soon as they are answered. All of this will keep the mind sharp and show employers that a job is being taken seriously.
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