Searching for a job can be exhausting, but when you finally land that dream position it feels like you're on top of the world. Most people think the work of a job hunt stops when they get hired. Top employees, however, understand it just starts a new phase of research and reconnaissance. If you don't know how to prepare for your new job, then you might find yourself confused for your first few days or weeks or feeling like you're not up to par with what the boss expects. There are some easy ways to avoid these problems, integrate seamlessly into the company culture and become familiar with your new coworkers.
After scouring the internet for potential jobs, you're probably exhausted from doing research on companies. You might have had to learn the basics of a new industry or what can disqualify you from a DOT physical just to write a cover letter for an application. Once you're hired, the research process becomes much easier. You have a single company to look into and names of people you'll be working with. The first step is to reach out to the hiring managers you met during your interview process. Try to find them on LinkedIn, as it's the professional side of social networking, and from there you should be able to easily find other people in the company. This will give you a leg up on memorizing names and faces before you're bombarded with information on your first day. You could even go so far as making flashcards of the top brass in your business so you know who runs the show.
Another helpful information dive is into the company's online presence. If you haven't already, check out the business' website and any social media accounts they may have. This is a great way to learn about their mission as a company, any volunteer work they do, and their overall company culture. You can look specifically for volunteer opportunities you'd be interested in, areas of the business you think you could enhance, or how your skills can contribute to the overall goal of the business.
Starting a new job can also change some aspects of your personal life, such as commute time or work schedule. For example, if you used to work early morning shifts, you might still have appointments scheduled in the afternoon that you can no longer attend with your new nine to five. Or you might have switched from a job 10 minutes from your house to one an hour away and will have to adjust when you leave your house. You want to make sure you can accommodate these changes, so you might have to do a little extra planning before your first day. If you have to leave home before you kids go to school, make sure someone is there, watch them and help them onto the bus. If you have pets who are used to you being home, be sure their food and water is full and they have access outside if they'll need it. You'll also want to make sure to adjust your calendar so you aren't asking for time off work right off the bat to go to doctor's appointments and the like.
The day before you start your new job, you can even plan to make the first morning as easy as possible. Test your commute on a work day before you start so you can get an idea of how much traffic might slow you down in the morning and you know precisely when to leave your house. You can also lay out your clothes for the day before you go to bed, so you don't have to waste time figuring out what to wear in the morning. Finally, you want to make sure you get a good night's rest, so you're awake and alert during your Day One training.
Before Leaving Your Job
If you're leaving one job for another, it can be tempting to walk out of one and straight into another with no consideration for your previous employer. Try to avoid this if possible. First and foremost, don't burn any bridges when you leave a company. You might need your previous employer as a reference one day, so make sure to leave on good terms. You can do this by turning in a two weeks notice and working hard until your last day to show you're not phoning it in just because you're leaving. This proves you have a great work ethic and are loyal to your position. You can also make sure to finish any outstanding tasks or projects before you leave, so your replacement can start fresh. Finally, allow yourself a little time between jobs to decompress and get ready for the shift in responsibility and culture.