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

Starting a new job can be an exciting opportunity to advance your career, build new relationships and develop your skills. Adapting to a different role, work environment and routine can prove challenging for many professionals. If you're approaching your first day of work in a new position, it may be helpful for you to prepare for success by reviewing tips that can help you make a positive first impression. In this article, we outline 12 do's and don'ts for starting a new job so you can maximize your potential and grow in your role.

9 do's of starting a new job

There are various strategies you can use to prepare adequately for your new role and ensure that you adopt proper workplace etiquette. You can build a solid foundation for achieving high-level goals, fostering long-lasting professional relationships and developing advanced competencies. Before you begin your first day of work, consider these nine do's for starting a new job:

1. Clearly define expectations

As you acclimate to your new job, it's important for you to gain a clear understanding of your supervisor's expectations. Determine what you're supposed to focus on each day, what type of work your supervisor wants you to engage in and what objectives you need to achieve in your role. With each of these items defined, you can strategize your workflow and ensure you meet expectations effectively.

2. Set goals for yourself

While your supervisor may establish objectives for you in your new role, it can be helpful for you to set goals for yourself as well. Having goals in place can help you make progress and track your growth over the first few months at your job. Consider setting goals for building relationships, optimizing your workflow and developing new skills.

3. Make connections with your colleagues

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

4. Have a willingness 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 employees to develop a foundation of competencies to perform your role. Alternatively, if your organization doesn't provide directed training, it may be useful for you to inquire about these opportunities to maximize your chances for success.

5. Ask for feedback regularly

Try to make asking for feedback a regular practice as you start your new role. Having feedback about your performance in your new role can help you understand what you're doing well and how you can improve your work. With this information, you can create a plan for strategically refining your approach so you can produce better results as you move forward.

6. Use your first 90 days to demonstrate your value

As a new employee, the first 90 days in your role are critical. Your supervisor may use this time period to assess whether you can effectively perform your role and determine the benefit you offer your team. During this time period, try to demonstrate the best of your abilities and integrate yourself into your new work environment to show that you're a valuable team member.

7. Be courteous

When interacting with your new supervisor and colleagues, make sure that you're as courteous as possible. In addition, try to express gratitude whenever your colleagues offer their help or any feedback about your work. By maintaining graciousness and using polite language, like saying "please" and "thank you," when speaking with your coworkers, you can establish a standard of respect.

8. Work actively toward cultural alignment

Adopting your new organization's culture can help you succeed in your position. Try to work actively toward cultural alignment by listening carefully, making keen observations and gaining an understanding of the core values that underpin your organization's work. Making a genuine effort toward alignment can help you develop a sense of belonging and security early in your role.

9. Keep a positive outlook

You may encounter a few obstacles or feel overwhelmed as you acclimate to your new job. While you may feel the impulse to give in to those emotions, try to instead maintain a positive mindset as you experience challenges so you can focus on making progress. As you gain confidence in your role, you may be able to overcome such impediments more efficiently.

3 don'ts for starting a new job

Here are three don'ts to consider before your first day of work:

1. Don't make assumptions

In your new role, you may encounter different approaches to work than those with which you're accustomed. It may take some time for you to adapt to your workflow and how things operate in your new work environment. Therefore, it's important to avoid making assumptions by keeping an open mind.

2. Don't share too much personal information

In a professional environment, it's typically wise to limit the amount of personal information that you share with others. Ensure that you use extra caution in this respect when starting your new job, as your relationships with your coworkers aren't fully formed yet. Using a certain level of caution can help you avoid opportunities for gossip or conflict as you adjust to the expectations of your role.

3. Don't engage in gossip or drama

Navigating your new work environment may be challenging at first. You may encounter workplace drama or gossip, 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 completing your day-to-day tasks.