On the Job: Transform from student to staff member


Photo by RENNIE PATTERSON  Ashleigh Brown, columnist and student at Mount Mary University.

Ashleigh Brown, columnist and student at Mount Mary University.

Congratulations! You landed the job you’ve been itching for, put in your notice to your current employer and have that wide permagrin that only comes from the excitement and anticipation of something new. Now what?

Starting a new job can be a nerve-wracking yet thrilling experience. It is also a major life change; after all, people spend more time at work than anywhere else. Make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible.

Experts recommend the following tips when starting a new position:

Before you start

  • Get your body clock on track – If you haven’t been working, practice your new sleep schedule a week or two ahead of time.
  • Test your new commute in advance – Account for traffic delays and parking issues.
  • Read up on your new company and connect with your new boss on LinkedIn – You won’t need to write a report, but you can never be too informed.

Once you start

  • Dress appropriately – Use your interview panel’s attire as your guide. It’s better to be overdressed than too casual.
  • Introduce yourself to everyone – Be friendly and outgoing, but do more listening than talking. Once the “I’m new” window is closed, your introductions could be awkward.
  • Remember names – Your coworkers will appreciate it. Don’t be afraid to take business cards or jot down mental associations.
  • Ask questions – There is no such thing as a dumb question, especially when you’re new. You won’t want to ask how to use the copy machine or how to make coffee one month in.

Your first weeks

  • Establish the relationship with your boss – Whether it’s weekly progress emails or daily impromptu checkins, make sure you are on the same page of communication.
  • Set goals – Company or personal, it’s important to lay out this step in your career early so that you don’t lose sight of the big picture.
  • Start good habits (and end bad habits) – Consider your start date Day One, and move forward with a workout routine, a consistent workday schedule or a new hobby/activity.

The most important thing you can bring to your job is confidence. Trust your abilities. Use your strengths to make good impressions and stand out. The interview was the easy part – prove to your new employer that he  or she made the right decision when hiring you.

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