Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Starting a Job Off on the Right Foot

The whole process of finding a job is difficult and usually a bit stressful. You have to sell yourself, sell yourself and self yourself again. Did I mention you have to sell yourself? This can be exhausting and can take a large toll on your self-esteem. However, if you have read Spark News for the past couple of months, even weeks, then hopefully we have been able to help you with some of your job search troubles. So, what happens once you actually get the job? Chances are you let out a huge sigh of relief since you can finally rest your bones, and your brain. This feels great, but unfortunately you still have a lot of work cut out for you. Staring a job means making new friends, getting assimilated and fitting in with this new company. This can be difficult and stressful too, but Spark News is here to help.

First and foremost, congratulations on getting hired and snagging the job you wanted! It feels great to finally accomplish what you have been working on for so long. Take a day, or night, relax and celebrate. Know, though, that once you get to work on Monday for your first day, you have to get straight to work. No fooling around. That is the first step to starting a job off on the right foot. A lot of new employees wait for their work to be given to them, but a great new hire will look for work right away and get down to it. Find the work that needs to be done, do it and present it to your managers so they can assess your work. Your superiors will be happy to see you are enthusiastic to get to work and will be pleased to see that they made the right decision by hiring you because you are a hard worker. In the same sense, don’t wait for the company to assimilate you into their culture. Start to get to know your co-workers and team members right from the get go. Find someone on the team that you can learn a lot from and befriend them.

Of course, you don’t want to pester and annoy people, but you should certainly start asking questions. If you expect to be a strong member of the team then you have to first understand the dynamics of the team you work with or for. This is also part of learning the system. As a new employee, you need to take the time to understand how things operate within this company. Someone, such as your superior or boss, may tell you that things work a certain way, but you need to take some time to realize the real way things operate. As a new employee, it is likely that you have new ideas and ways to “fix” the issues that are currently present in the system. As a new employee, it would be wise of you to wait at least three months before you make any huge changes. If you come in and start changing things right away without truly understanding how they work, then you can develop a bad rep. This is certainly not what you want.

Although healthy competition makes business foster, you want to be sure you are not competing with others in the company right from the get go. As I stated earlier, you want to make friends with the members of your team and foster healthy relationships. Competing with a co-worker right away can give the impression that you are aggressive. Again, you need to gauge how this company operates. Perhaps aggressive and competitive employees run this company. In this case, your urge to compete may be perfect. This is why understanding the company culture is so important.

Another important thing to remember is to set precedents that you want to keep and maintain. For instance, if you start off staying an hour or two later each day from the start, then it is likely that your superiors and co-workers will come to expect that from you every day. If you are just staying longer the first month of work to impress your superiors, they may expect you to stay that long forever and if you don’t, they will suspect something is wrong. That is why you should set precedents you intend to keep in the beginning.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of starting a job off on the right foot is to stay out of company gossip. Getting involved with the dramas of your new company early on can be very damaging to your entire career with this company. Since you are new to the team and you are friendly (which hopefully you are) then it is likely that your new co-workers will want to “fill you in” on the company drama. If this happens, keep an open ear but definitely keep your mouth shut. You need to form your own opinions on people and feeding into the gossip with no background knowledge of your own can be really damaging. Stay clear of this. In the same sense, you want to make sure you make friends in both high places and low places. Meaning, you want to make friends of your superiors as well as your subordinates.. This will work in your favor and show that you are well-liked across the board.

Starting a job off on the right foot is no easy task, that’s for sure. But it’s not very difficult, either. As long as you steer clear from the obvious no-no’s and make a good attempt at making friends you should be fine. As stated in the article I wrote on understanding company culture, it takes as long as a year for someone new to truly understand how a company operates with their clients and with each other. Take your time and remain positive. Know that since you are new, you are being watched- act accordingly.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Elevator Talk

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter