4/1/2018 by Katherine Memery
Most of us will be returning to work after the festive break, well-rested, well-fed and ready for the year ahead. For many of you, however, this week will mark the beginning of a new stage in your career as you begin 2018 by starting a new legal job.
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. Arrive early
Punctuality is always important, but even more so when starting a new job. Getting to the office early on your first day will confirm that you’re eager to roll your sleeves up and get started. You’ll also be able to greet some of your equally punctual colleagues individually instead of introducing yourself to everyone all at once.
2. 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 way of doing things.
You won’t pick up everything straight away, just throw yourself into your new role and work hard to absorb everything you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and carry a notebook and pen to jot down useful information.
Now’s also the time to ask questions that you might feel slightly awkward asking later on. You might want to ask your manager about the wider aims of the business or structure of the company or one of your peers about the brew round-related office politics; either way, you might regret it if you leave these questions until 6 months down the line.
3. Be clear about expectations
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.
4. Get organised, work hard and chart your progress
When you receive your caseload, 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, major 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).
5. Establish your new routine and explore the local area
For most people, a new job means a different commute and routine. In your first week, set off earlier in the morning to give yourself extra time to allow for rush-hour traffic or delays. If your hours have changed, think about how you’ll juggle your other commitments like childcare, gym classes or personal appointments and begin to build a routine.
If you’re working in a new town or city, take walks in your lunch hour to familiarise yourself with the local amenities. This way you’ll get to know where the nearest chemist, post office and coffee shop are, for when you need them.
6. Introduce yourself and make friends
It’s never too early to start forming bonds with your new colleagues. Introduce yourself to everyone you meet and start to get to know the people you’ll be working with. In particular, make an effort to speak to the receptionist and the IT support staff so that you know who to turn to in a crisis. If you struggle with names, draw up a seating plan so that you know exactly where to find everyone.
Don’t turn down any invitations that come your way, whether that be lunch with your new team or after work drinks; being social away from the office allows you to show off your personality and get to know your co-workers in a more relaxed setting.
7. Give it a chance
If your job isn’t how you expected or you instinctively suspect you may have made a mistake, don’t panic. Early teething problems are relatively common and it can take weeks or sometimes months to feel settled in a new job. If, after 6 months, you’re still unsure whether the role is for you, schedule a meeting with your manager to air your concerns, or contact your Realm consultant for advice.
Refresh your legal career with Realm Recruit
At Realm, we offer a tailored recruitment service to both lawyers and law firms across Manchester, the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands. To discuss your career prospects and the current state of the jobs market within your specialism get in touch our specialist legal recruitment consultants today. Call us on 03300 245 606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.