Dos and Don’ts for Your First Couple Weeks at a New Job


Starting a new job is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. There are people to meet, papers to fill out, and processes to learn. You have to familiarize yourself with a new routine, a new office, and a new task load.


Hopefully, you’re prepared for any skill related challenges that come your way at your new job (your skillset is what got you hired, after all!). But beyond your new day-to-day tasks, there are some dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind to help make your first couple weeks at a new job a success for everyone involved. 



Work out the logistics.

There’s some work you should do ahead of time to make sure things go smoothly at your new job from day one. Make sure you ask your new employer what to bring on your first day (in terms of paperwork and identification). Additionally, be prepared for your new commute, be aware of the office dress code, set up childcare if necessary, and take care of any other “behind the scenes” concerns.

Learn names.

Not only are you going to be spending a lot of time with your new coworkers, but they can also be valuable resources in your early days at your new job. Remembering names can go a long way when it comes to starting your new working relationships off on the right foot.

Ask questions.

No one expects you to know how everything works right away. Ask plenty of questions about anything and everything you aren’t sure of. Your new employer wants you to succeed as much as you do, so they’re willing to help. Own your mistakes and

Speak up.

You’re a member of the team now, and you deserve to have your voice heard. If someone asks for your opinion, give it. If there’s a chance for you to volunteer for something, take it. If you have an idea of how to make something better, say so. Don’t be overbearing or ignore current office dynamics (more on that later), but recognize that you’re a part of this team and that you can and should contribute, even while you’re new.

Be social.

Attend company socials, happy hours, or networking events that can help you build relationships with coworkers, clients, or other people within your new industry. Be involved and present. Establishing your presence from the beginning can only help as you get used to your new job.


Expect things to be easy right away.

You’re in a new environment, with new responsibilities, surrounded by new people. It would be foolish to expect that everything will be easy or feel natural. Give yourself time to adjust, without getting too frustrated or feeling like you made a terrible mistake.

Play the comparison game.

This applies on an individual level, but also on a company level. Individually, try not to compare yourself to your new coworkers. They have a lot more experience at the company under their belts, and it’s only natural that they would know more than you about how things work. Similarly, try not to compare this job to your old job. You’ve already made the switch, and second guessing yourself isn’t going to help anything.

Ignore the current office dynamic.

As a newcomer, you need to be aware of the current culture and dynamic within your new office. Remember: everyone else there is used to a dynamic you aren’t yet used to. Being overbearing or trying to force new practices on everyone within the first few days isn’t likely to go well. If culture changes need to be made, trust that you’ll contribute to them naturally and over time.

Spend time on social media at work.

Regardless of what your company’s policies are about spending time on social media while on the clock, resist the urge to be consistently checking your channels and pages during your first few weeks at the office. Instead, take this time to get through the adjustment period, adapt to your new workload, and focus on learning what you need to learn.


Related: How to Stay on Track While Working From Home


The first few weeks at a new job present all new challenges, problems, and hurdles, but they are also the beginning of new opportunities, promising relationships, and growth. As long as you stick to best practices about what to do and not do during your first couple weeks, you should be able to get off to a promising, positive start. 

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