Who doesn’t get butterflies, particularly during the first week in a new job, no matter what job you’re starting? I know I get nervous, anxious and self-conscious, in addition to all the other things that get thrown at you the first week. Whether you’re learning your co-worker’s names, locating the bathrooms, going out for lunch, or simply trying to memorize the processes and procedures, I’ve come up with 7 ways to survive the first week in a new job.
1. Stay Calm
You’re not alone starting the first week in a new job. If you think about it, everyone’s done it at least once in their life, so everyone's been there before! The first week in any new job is rough, so my advice to you is to try and stay calm and breathe deeply. Whenever you find yourself in a heart-racing, sweaty-palm inducing spot, just turn your attention to your breathing. Inhale and count one, exhale and count two, all the way to ten. When your breathing is steadier, you’ll appear calm, approach your co-workers and tasks with a lot more confidence, and feel more at ease. Believe in your inner calm!
2. Befriend Someone
Most companies will ensure that you have a buddy or pair you up with someone so that you can quickly learn the ropes. This person will hopefully be professional and will genuinely want to help you out. Make sure to befriend them. Even if it doesn’t happen to be the buddy that you befriend, there could be another new person that started with you that you can get to know. Having a trustworthy ally, or someone who is in the same boat will definitely help you survive the first week (and hopefully beyond)!
3. Keep an Open Mind
Sometimes, I think that I would have left the job I’m in now during my first week had I not had an open mind! Everyone needs time to get settled in a new position and role, and it may be a completely different work environment from where you worked before, or perhaps the hours are unusual and you’re adapting to a new routine. Keeping an open mind and knowing that you’re always learning new things will definitely stand you in good stead for future weeks to come.
4. Listen, Observe, Understand
There is always going to be a new company culture to learn, whether it’s linked to company processes or the people you’re working with, make sure you pay attention and listen to what your co-workers are saying. It may or may not be useful to you, but there may be some commonality, that will help you learn the culture, the jargon, and the company’s ways of doing things. By listening, observing and understanding, and generally being a sponge, you’ll be well on your way to feeling like you fit in.
5. Get Organized
If there is a lot of new information coming your way, make sure that you stay disciplined, focused, organized and start setting good habits. Maybe you had a few weaknesses in your past job that can be overcome in this job? If you struggled with time management say, and now have to be clocking-in at a job or have tasks to do every hour, use the first week to map out how you’ll accomplish all your tasks, and start putting some new lessons and habits into practice.
6. Learn Your New Neighborhood
Logistically, you’ll need to know where you can grab coffees , especially if you dislike the coffee provided, get a decent lunch with co-workers, or where to get a gym workout in, before or after work! It may take a few weeks to figure out all the good spots, like which deli has the cheapest sandwiches, but getting out to explore will help you become more familiar with the neighborhood, which in turn will help you feel more at ease in your new job.
7. Stay Current on Company News
Since you were lucky enough to land the new job, and have probably already looked them up on Google, Glassdoor and similar websites, it makes sense to set up Google Alerts or some other company news feed. Perhaps your new company sends out daily e-mails to their target customers and clients, or perhaps they post Twitter feeds or have an Instagram page. Being up to speed on that type of company information, will only help you out in the long run.
Hopefully these tips will help you feel more grounded, at-ease and ready to face the second week and beyond, in your new job! Remember, it will take time to settle in, know your way around, and for people to get used to you. I think this quote by Zig Ziglar sums it up, "You never work for someone else. Someone else might sign your check but you are the one that fills in the amount." What things have helped you survive your first week in your new job?