Top 6 Things You Should Do During Your First Month on the Job

Just like first impressions, the first 30 days at your new job can set the tone for a new position.

Just like first impressions, the first 30 days at your new job can set the tone for a new position. What you do during that time can make or break work relationships and job success. But don’t worry; a few intentional steps can put you on a path to victory in your new role! Your first month on the job can be busy and confusing, but try your best to find the time to prioritize these things:

Meet with People

Whether you met some of your new coworkers during the interview process, you were introduced to them in the first staff meeting, or you haven’t had the chance to say hello, set up quick individual meet-and-greets with as many people in the office as your schedule allows. Sitting down with your new teammates one-on-one can help you learn what their role is in the office, what tips and tricks they have for success, and what their priorities are. Try asking people to meet at their favorite restaurant for lunch. Then you’ll know where the best places to eat are!

During your meetings ask people what they expect from you. Even if they aren’t your supervisor, each person will have certain expectations of the support you will give them or the work you will produce, so knowing that from the beginning will help you quickly find your place on the team.

Organize Your Space

Block some time off on your calendar to organize your office or workspace. Even though you might adjust your space once you learn your new rhythm, if left undone, this task can quickly get out of hand and become a chore that you keep moving to the bottom of your to-do list. An organized space can also enhance your productivity and reduce unnecessary stress. Make sure you have all the basic office supplies (pens, paper, a stapler, file folders, etc.) and anything else you need to be successful in your position easily accessible so you’re ready to hit the ground running.

Become a Student of the Company

During your first month on the job, learn as much as you can about the company or organization. Here are a few things to study up on:

  • Memorize the organizational chart or reporting structure
  • Learn who to contact for different issues you might face (ex. IT problems)
  • Research all of the details regarding the organization’s products, services, clients, competitors, or projects, even beyond the work that you will be a part of
  • Review the mission statement and goals of the organization

All of this information will help you keep up with conversations in meetings and around the office so you can start contributing right away.

Set Goals

Jumping into several new projects and teams at once can seem daunting, but setting some attainable goals for yourself can make it much more manageable. Start by making a list of all of your responsibilities that you are aware of. Then break those responsibilities down by creating realistic goals for your first step related to each project and set a timeline for when each goal should be done. Then put all of your goals in order by the date you’d like to have them done by and get to work! When you complete a goal, come up with the next goal related to that responsibility and set a new timeline.

If that structure doesn’t work for you, try making a list of everything you’d like to accomplish in the next month, 3 months, 6 months, and year. With either of these methods, it might be helpful to review your goals with your boss as you learn the priorities and workflows of the company.

Communicate Boundaries and Preferences

Throughout your interactions with your new coworkers and boss, be sure to communicate any boundaries or preferences that you have. These could be preferences related to how you like to communicate, work on projects, spend your lunchtime, or even what name you prefer to be called. If these things go unsaid, it can cause you frustration, be more awkward to bring up later on, and be harder for other people to change the way they’ve been doing things. Don’t be afraid to be your own advocate during your first month on the job!

Ask Questions

As you work through all of these steps, one of the most important things you can do is ask questions. Sometimes it can feel embarrassing or inconvenient to ask a question, but it’s truly the best way for you to learn the information you need to know to be successful. It’s also common for people who already work at the company to forget that you might not understand something, so when you ask a question, it will remind them to explain things further. You want to avoid being several months into a position wishing you would’ve clarified something during your first week because you still don’t understand it!

So on top of your new job duties, these simple steps can set you on the path to success in your new role. You most likely worked very hard to get a new job, so don’t let all that hard work go to waste by not being intentional with your first month on the job. It’ll pay off down the road!