How do you establish a solid foundation at your new workplace when your reputation is, well, non-existent?
Though your new (hopefully ethical) employer hired you because you’re good at what you do, consider this: research shows a surprising 4 percent of new employees don’t make it past the first day, while 22 percent of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment. That’s a lot of rough starts!
To help you hit the ground running, here’s some essential tips on how to best approach your new job through your first 100 days:
Before you start
Do some research. Go back through your old interview notes, explore the organisation’s website and check out any relevant social media to really swot up on your new workplace. For bonus points, study online staff profiles and LinkedIn pages – your colleagues will be chuffed you made the effort to learn their names before you’ve even started!
The first day
Listen, absorb and learn. Consider the 90/10 rule: listen 90 percent of the time, speak for 10 percent – the latter of which should ideally be in the form of questions!
Take notes. Jot down any nuggets of information you’re given today – you’ll thank yourself later! Note down things like co-worker’s names and job titles, and any other valuable information you may not find in official documentation.
Smile. Never underestimate the importance of a positive attitude – though this is something you should show at all times, not just your first day!
The first week
Ask questions. No one’s going to expect you to know too much, making this the perfect time to question everything and (conservatively) test the waters without any real risks.
Stay humble. While your fresh perspective will be appreciated, refrain from approaching your new job from a position of knowing best. While questions are great, there’s no quicker way to put your new colleagues offside than by strongly challenging their ingrained processes. Show them you’re a part of the team by going with the flow, and don’t be afraid to compliment what works. There will be plenty of time in the future to challenge the conventional ways that things are done.
Catch up with colleagues. Taking some time out for a coffee or lunch together can be a great low-pressure way to get to know your new co-workers and learn more about what they do in the organisation.
The first two months
Get across industry news and professional development opportunities. Subscribe to industry newsletters, get to know the organisation’s website inside and out, seek out a mentor and identify any training or resources that might help you to do your job better.
Get in some quick wins. Are there any clear opportunities your experience tells you will help add value to your new organisation? Getting a couple of these under your belt will definitely improve your standing, and could also mean you’re given more responsibility and autonomy in the future.
The third month
Improve a process. Having learned a thing or two about your new organisation, you’re in a prime position to put your experience and fresh perspective into practice. Noticed any clunky processes that need fixing, or a workflow that could be improved? Devising a smart, simpler solution could really impress your colleagues or boss – just try to avoid stepping on too many toes!
Request a performance review. Many organisations do this around the three-month mark anyway, but it’s worth seeking it out if your manager hasn’t approached you or if your workplace is a little more informal.
Prepare by noting down your accomplishments to date and any new challenges you’d like to tackle, and plan to ask some questions about your performance. Of course, be ready to accept and respond to whatever feedback comes your way.
In the grand scheme of things, 100 days isn’t much. But in the context of a new job, it could be the difference between rapid failure and soaring success. Approach your start deliberately and professionally, and you’ll position yourself to really make an impact in your new ethical job.
This post is based on an article that originally appeared on Idealist.org.