How to Succeed When Starting A New Job

My first  job out of college was as a marketing assistant for a publishing company in downtown San Francisco. I was thrilled to work in the center of a lively city and even happier that I was able to turn my love of books into a real career. Looking back now, I can offer a few pointers on how to navigate the first few weeks of a job to make the following months easy sailing.

Take the first week to get organized

When I first started my colleague in the cubicle next to me offered some helpful advice:”Don’t worry about being busy your first few days. Just get settled in.” Many companies have an onboarding process that eases you into your workload. Spend the first few days organizing your workspace and taking care of the basics. Make sure you know how to check your voicemail, how to use the printer and familiarize yourself on where all the office supplies are kept. You also want to use the first few weeks learning and mastering any new systems you’ll have to use on a regular basis. This time getting to know the office now will help in the future when you’re busy meeting a tight deadline.

Get to know your colleagues and their communication styles

As a marketing assistant I worked with a lot of different teams within the company including Creative, Events and Sales. What I learned from these interactions is that everyone has different communication styles, and it’s a great skill to learn how to adapt to their style. Figure out if they prefer talking face-to-face versus email or vice-versa, and if you feel comfortable, ask them.  Some of your colleagues might need a follow-up email after talking on the phone. Learning how to best communicate with your colleagues will make working together easier and, ultimately, produce the best results on projects.

Finish your to-do-list before asking for more work

“Go above and beyond” is drilled into our brains on how to get ahead in our careers. When I started at my first job, I wanted to take on everything. What I learned was to make your projects excellent before asking for anything new. Learn as much as you can and master your daily tasks, and your team will see the effort you’re putting in. When you start to feel comfortable with your initial responsibilities, that is the right time to ask for more.