Starting a New Job


So you landed a new position put in your two weeks notice at your current job. You are busting outta this joint, and that pile of work sitting at your desk is someone else’s problem. You feel so excited to start your new job, and you just know its going to to be better than this hell-hole.

Now it’s Sunday night and you need to get a good night’s sleep before your first day at the new gig. So you go to bed early and wait for the Sandman…┬áNow its 3AM, and you haven’t slept a wink. All you can think is that if you fall asleep right now, you will get 4 hours of sleep, and that will be enough to make it through your first day right? Right…

Lets assume you survive the first day and fast forward a little bit. What do you need to do to succeed at your new job? How do you make sure you fit in? And most importantly, how do you make sure you keep you new job? Here are some useful tips:

Your first day:

  1. Smile you poser!
  2. Don’t worry about not remembering that guy’s name you were introduced to in that other department. In 6 months you will know his name, and won’t be able to say it without rolling your eyes. Actually you will hate everyone in his entire department, and wish you could forget their useless, unhelpful names.
  3. If business casual is the dress code, leave the tie in the car, dummy. If you can wear jeans, leave the Dockers at home. If the dress code is business formal, ditch the pin stripe suite you pimp!
  4. Do you have anything to put inside that briefcase other than pens? No! So leave it at home.
  5. Don’t bring a lunch box on your first day, tell mommy you’ll eat out.

Your first month:

  1. If you want respect, work hard! Get to the office early and stay late. You have to do your time in the trenches before anyone will respect you.
  2. Your small startup does beer Friday’s? Good for you asshole. But don’t get too comfortable too soon. If you want respect, don’t abuse the awesome perks; less drinky more worky. There is no better way to show your worth than to ralph on the ping pong table during business hours.
  3. Focus on becoming independent, being able to do your work without constantly bugging other people.

6 Months to 1 year+

  1. Focus on the core skills/technologies. Those company specific monotonous daily tasks you do are worthless to a future employer. But if you are a boss at Six-Sigma/SAP/SQL/Java,etc… two words: cash money! In 2-5 years you will hate this job as much if not more than your previous job, and be ready to move on. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but the money is!
  2. If you like your job and plan on sticking with the company, it’s time to start thinking about what you need to learn to get to the next step, which may include management or another position/title.

I can’t guarantee that you will like your new job, but if you follow these steps, you can ease the pain of being a complete newbie, and prepare yourself for the next step in your career.

Steps (Photo credit: Joe Gatling)