12 Do’s and Don’ts for Starting a New Job


Starting a new job can be an exciting opportunity to advance your career, make new relationships, and develop your skills. Adjusting to a different role, work environment and routine can be difficult for many professionals. If you’re nearing your first day of work in a new role, it can be helpful to prepare yourself for success by reviewing tips that can help you make a positive first impression. In this article, we outline 12 dos and don’ts of starting a new job so that you can maximize your potential and grow in your role.

Related: How to make the transition to a new job successfully (with tips)

There are a variety of strategies you can use to properly prepare for your new role and ensure that you adopt proper workplace etiquette. You can build a solid foundation for achieving high-level goals, fostering lasting professional relationships, and developing advanced skills. Before you start your first day on the job, consider these nine things you can do to start a new job:

1. Clearly define expectations

As you get used to your new job, it is important that you clearly understand your supervisor’s expectations. Determine what you are supposed to focus on each day, what type of work your supervisor wants you to get involved in, and what goals you need to achieve in your role. With each of these elements defined, you can strategize for your workflow and ensure you are effectively meeting expectations.

2. Set goals

While your supervisor can set goals for you in your new role, you may also find it helpful to set goals for yourself. Having goals in place can help you move forward and track your growth in the first few months of your job. Consider setting goals for yourself to build relationships, optimize your workflow, and develop new skills.

Related: How Can New Job Anxiety Help You Reach Your Goals?

3. Connect with your colleagues

Try to introduce yourself and build relationships with your new colleagues. Through these connections, you can lay a foundation for future collaboration opportunities and build a useful support network. You may be able to work alongside your colleagues to achieve common goals, ask questions whenever needed, and accomplish more in your own role in general.

Related: How to be successful in your new job: the first week, month and 90 days

4. Have the will to learn

When starting a new job, it can be beneficial to demonstrate your potential for growth through a willingness to learn. You may need to participate in designated training opportunities for new hires in order to develop a skill base to fulfill your role. Otherwise, if your organization does not offer tutorial training, it may be helpful for you to educate yourself about these opportunities to maximize your chances of success.

5. Ask for feedback regularly

Try to make asking for feedback a regular practice when starting your new role. Having feedback on your performance in your new role can help you understand what you’re doing well and how you can improve your job. With this information, you can create a plan to strategically refine your approach so that you can produce better results as you move forward.

6. Use your first 90 days to demonstrate your worth

As a new hire, the first 90 days in your role are essential. Your supervisor can use this time to assess whether you can effectively play your role and determine the benefits you provide to your team. During this time, try to demonstrate the best of your abilities and integrate into your new work environment to show that you are a valued member of the team.

Related: How to create a plan for your first 100 days in a new job (with an example)

7. Be courteous

When interacting with your new supervisor and coworkers, be sure to be as courteous as possible. Also, try to express your gratitude whenever your coworkers offer help or feedback on your work. By remaining courteous and using polite language, such as saying “please” and “thank you” when speaking with coworkers, you can set a standard of respect.

8. Actively work for cultural alignment

Embracing the culture of your new organization can help you be successful in your role. Try to actively work on cultural alignment by listening attentively, making in-depth observations, and gaining an understanding of the core values ​​that underpin the work of your organization. Making a real alignment effort can help you develop a sense of belonging and security early on in your role.

9. Keep a positive attitude

You may run into a few obstacles or feel overwhelmed as you acclimatize to your new job. While you may feel the impulse to give in to these emotions, instead try to maintain a positive frame of mind when facing challenges so that you can focus on your progress. As you gain confidence in your role, you may be able to overcome these obstacles more effectively.

3 things not to do when starting a new job

Here are three things not to do before your first day on the job:

1. Don’t make assumptions

In your new role, you may encounter different approaches to work than you are used to. It may take a while for you to adjust to your workflow and the way things work in your new work environment. Therefore, it is important to avoid making assumptions by keeping an open mind.

2. Don’t share too much personal information

In a professional environment, it’s generally wise to limit the amount of personal information you share with others. Be sure to be extra careful in this regard when starting your new job, as your relationships with your coworkers are not yet fully formed. Exercising a certain degree of caution can help you avoid opportunities for gossip or conflict as you adjust to the expectations of your role.

Related: 18 tips for knowing what to say on your first day of work

3. Do not engage in gossip or drama

Navigating your new work environment can be difficult at first. You may encounter drama or gossip in the workplace, but try to avoid engaging in these negative behaviors. Disengaging can help you maintain positive relationships with your coworkers and limit the number of distractions you face while doing your daily tasks.

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