How to be Immediately Effective on a New Job or Assignment

Starting a new job or assignment can be tough and a bit nerve-wracking. The first days are a mixture of excitement, engagement, and information overload.  During this time, you want to make a lasting impression and show your new employer or your project leader that they made the right decision in hiring you.  Below are a few tips to help you be effective immediately.  

  • Have patience.  Changing jobs is ranked as one of the highest periods of stress in a person’s life.  As you anxiously start your new job, remember to have patience and focus on meeting the challenges presented to you.  It will take a little bit of time to get adjusted to your new company and up to speed.  Take each day one step at a time and do not be afraid to ask questions. 
  • Information overload.  With that being said, you are going to be overloaded with information your first week or two.  You will be meeting new people, going through training sessions, and learning exactly what it is your new job entails.  Prepare yourself ahead of time by getting familiar with company policies and any information in your employee handbook.  Make sure to take notes (keep a small notepad handy) and follow up with any questions you might have.   Review your notes at the end of the day to ensure you have answers to your questions.
  • Do not expect a lot of hand-holding.  Your new team is there to help you as you get acclimated in your new position, but don’t expect them to hold your hand every step of the way.  Instead, take initiative, bring new ideas to the table, and utilize all resources available to you.
  • Be open to learning.  Spend time listening and understanding the culture of your company.  Get familiar with the key influencers and direct reports, and their areas of focus.  Also, do not be afraid to try something new, be confident in yourself and go about things with a positive attitude.  See mistakes as learnings.
  • Build your network.  Immediately start working on developing your network of trusted co-workers.  Form trustworthy relationships with others who can help you out as you learn the ropes and can provide guidance.  According to a Randstad survey, 67% of employees report that having friends at work makes their job more fun and enjoyable and 55% feel that these relationships make their job more worthwhile and satisfying.

Starting a new job is no easy task.  You quickly find yourself stepping outside of your comfort zone and entering a new place with a bit of uncertainty as well as unanswered questions.  Remember, it is important to immediately show the impact you want to have at your new company and show that they made the right decision in hiring you.