Tips for Starting a New Job

Last updated: Jan 17, 2023

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking. Those first few days can feel like a blur, from adjusting to your new responsibilities to remembering everyone’s names.


Here’s are new job tips for every step of the process to make sure you’re set up for success when embarking on a new position.

One Week Before

The week before to starting your new job, you can do a lot to prepare.


Learn About the Company

You should review the company’s website and social media channels if you haven’t already. Dig into their blog posts, read their press releases, and check out their goals and culture. It can also be helpful to research their competitors and view your colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles.


Test Everything

This tip is vital if you’re working from home. Make sure you test your computer setup, software, and any equipment you’ll need for the job. The last thing you want on your first day is to deal with technical issues.


Confirm Your Schedule

A few days before you start, ask what your schedule will look like so that no mishaps occur. What time should you arrive or log in, and what time will you be expected to leave or log off? When is your lunch break, and for how long? Make sure you know what the expected schedule and office routines are.


Prepare for the First Day

Before that first day, get everything in order that you’ll need, including your outfit, your notebook, lunch, coffee — whatever you’ll need. If you’re working remotely, this means getting your home office set up.

Two people shaking hands on the first day of a new job.

In Your First Week

While the first week may be overwhelming, there are a few things you can do to make a good impression and set yourself up for the long haul.


Introduce Yourself

This may seem obvious, but introducing yourself, whether online or in-person, is a great way to ensure a good first impression and that you get to meet many of your teammates.


Indeed, a job listing and career website, has the following tips for making your introductions count:

  • Prepare your opening lines ahead of time so you have a script ready for when you meet new colleagues.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings — don’t interrupt people to introduce yourself and keep it short if people start to seem distracted. If someone does seem interested and receptive to your introduction, make a note to try to get to know them better.
  • Try to remember people’s names by repeating them back or taking notes. If you forget someone’s name, it’s okay to ask them again since you’re probably meeting a lot of new people.


Career coach Aimee Bateman recommends including the “why” behind your choice to accept your job with this company. Sharing your unique “why” with your colleagues will make your introductions more engaging and memorable.


Figure Out the Lay of the Land

If your job is in-person, you should figure out the layout of the office, including the restrooms, the coffee and water, where to get office supplies, the elevator and stairs, the break room, and any other amenities available in your workplace.


Keep Your Eyes Open

Lolly Daskal, President and CEO of Lead from Within, recommends being as observant as possible in the first few days and weeks of your new job to discover the unwritten rules. Is the atmosphere serious or light? How are meetings conducted? How do people communicate and dress? What do people do at lunch? How do they treat each other? Take note of all these social cues so you can adapt to the culture.


Find a Friend

After meeting some of your colleagues, it’s a good idea to try to connect with some of them further. Don’t wait on someone to invite you to lunch or virtual coffee. Instead, reach out to someone on your team you’d like to get to know or perhaps another new hire. Developing a relationship with someone can help you feel more comfortable as you get used to your new work environment and can provide some stability. Also, research shows that having social ties at work can help us be more productive.


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

You might feel like you have a million questions but also no specific questions at the same time. It’s hard to know what to ask when things seem new.


To make sure you ask the right questions, think about specifically what you need to know and prioritize what questions are important to get the answer to immediately (such as getting access to certain systems) and what can wait until later. Write down your questions so that you don’t forget them.


Meet One-on-One with Your Manager

Connecting with your manager early on will help you transition from the formality of interviewing to a day-to-day relationship. And, research shows that when new employees meet with their manager one-on-one during their first week, they had better meetings and spent more time collaborating with their team. They also had a larger internal network, which increased their feelings of belonging and chances of staying longer.


You can get to know their management style and what they expect from you, and you can keep making a good impression. Ask your manager what their biggest pain point is and consider how you can lessen that burden.


Review Your Benefits

Connect with HR to go over your benefits, including:

  • Health, vision, and dental insurance
  • Sick leave, paid time off and holidays
  • 401(k) and other financial benefits


Understand the Company Structure

Ask for an organizational chart so you can get to know the company’s operating structure. Who is in senior leadership, and who does your position ladder up to? Reviewing the org chart with your manager can help you get a sense for how you fit within the scope of the organization.

Three co-workers having a conversation in the office.

In Your First Month

As you start to settle into your job, you should start to learn how you can apply your skill set.


Get to Know Your Teammates

Being friendly and curious with new colleagues goes a long way. Here are a few questions you can ask to get the conversation going and learn more about them:

  • How long have you been with the company?
  • What do you enjoy most about your position?
  • What do you wish you had known when you first started?
  • Did you rely on any go-to documents when you started?
  • What are you currently working on?


Take Initiative

While you should focus on your primary responsibilities, the first month or so is a great time to start looking for ways to help that go beyond your job description. Be willing to offer help if someone asks for it and provide solutions for any problems you have noticed. If you’re done with your to-do list, you can reach out to other teammates to see what they need help with, or ask your boss.


Ask for Feedback

Don’t wait for your annual review to get feedback on your performance. Instead, ask your manager on a regular basis how you can grow. Some questions you can ask include:

  • What are my greatest strengths and areas of opportunity so far?
  • Is there anything I should be focusing more on?
  • Is there something I can take off your plate?
  • Am I meeting or exceeding expectations?
  • How can I add more value to our team?


Define What Success Looks Like

Knowing what people expect of you and how you will be measured is essential for succeeding in your role. Don’t be afraid to ask your manager and key partners what they expect of you.


Similarly, make sure you ask what the biggest metrics you will be judged on are and what your boss cares about most. Bateman recommends erring on the side of over communication when it comes to KPIs. If you have any doubts, ask your boss.


Start Your New Job with Confidence

Going into a new job is exciting! There are many ways you can lay the foundation for long-term success. Download our guide to remember these quick tips leading up to your first day at a new job.

Download our checklist