If you’re embarking on a fresh challenge, you might be excited at the prospect, but a little apprehensive about being the newbie, settling into your new role and starting again with new colleagues.
While you have, of course, landed the job, it’s important to remember that the first three months of any new job are an extension of the interview process. It’s, therefore, crucial that you create a positive first impression, settle into your new position quickly and begin to show your new manager exactly why they hired you. If you do these seven things, you’ll get off to a flying start.
1. Do your homework
While you’ll likely have researched your new firm during the recruitment process before you start, it’s a good idea to get up to speed on any developments since then. Visit the firm’s website and LinkedIn page and check to see if they’ve had any recent press coverage so that you’re well-informed and can ask intelligent questions when you meet your new colleagues.
2. Establish your new routine
For most people, a new job means a new routine and usually, a new commute. In your first week, get up earlier in the morning to give yourself extra time to travel into the office (or get set up at home if you’re working remotely).
If your hours have changed, think about how you’ll juggle your other commitments like school pick-ups or walking the dog, or your partner’s working hours and begin to build a fresh daily schedule.
3. Introduce yourself and get stuck in
It’s never too early to start forming bonds with your new colleagues. Introduce yourself to everyone you meet, whether in person or virtually and begin to get to know the people you’ll be working with. In particular, make an effort to reach out to the receptionist and the IT support staff so that you know who to turn to in a crisis.
Don’t turn down any invitations that come your way, whether that be lunch with your new team, an upcoming fundraising event or end-of-the-month drinks; being social away from the office will allow you to show off your personality and get to know your co-workers in a more relaxed setting.
4. Ask questions
When you start your new job, it may be overwhelming getting to know so many new people, settling into new surroundings and getting to grips with a different case management system. You won’t pick up everything straight away but try to throw yourself into your new role and work hard to absorb everything you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make notes of any important information you glean.
Now is also the time to ask questions that you might feel slightly awkward asking later on. You might want to ask your manager about the broader aims of the business or structure of the firm or one of your peers about what kind of social activities you might be expected to get involved in. Either way, you might regret it if you leave these questions until six months down the line.
5. Update your LinkedIn profile and define your personal brand
Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile with your new job title and employer, connect with your new colleagues and revise your summary section to reflect your new position.
Next, think about how you might like to present yourself online via your personal brand now that you’ve moved to a new firm. If business development is a key part of your role, this is particularly important. Consider your values and goals and think about how you might start or engage in the online conversation, whether that be with other lawyers within your practice area or clients and prospects.
6. Get organised, work hard and chart your progress
When you receive your caseload, especially as it is likely to be smaller to begin with, map out how you’ll spend each day and put in place processes to help you maximise your efficiency and get things done.
Get into the habit of making a note of all your accomplishments, significant contributions and any positive feedback you get. Not only will this boost your confidence and help to monitor your success, but it will help to prepare you for future performance reviews (and salary negotiations).
7. Be clear about expectations and ask for feedback
While you will have gained a broad idea of what will be expected of you in your interview, now’s the time to iron out the specifics.
Arrange a one-to-one meeting with your manager to establish exactly what they believe success will look like in your first few weeks, months and year in your role. You can then begin to plan your workflow, set goals and achieve them. As you settle in, be sure to ask for feedback regularly, to make sure you’re on the right track.