College to Career Calendar:Onboardlng 201

Posted by Interview2work on Saturday, May 13, 2017

This is the thirtieth in a series of blogs supporting the College to Career Calendar available for downloading at www.interview2work.com. Today’s blog is the second of a three-part series on onboarding. My last blog explained why the process is so important and cited research showing not every employer has a dynamic onboarding program. What do you do if you find yourself starting a job with an employer who does not have a strong onboarding program? You create your own. You have invested a lot of time and effort to secure a job; take the steps that assure you will be successful.

In this blog, we will talk about what to do before the first day on the job and what to expect during your first day. In my next blog, I will discuss what do the first 30 days on the job.

Tasks to complete before the first day on your new job

Your Goal: Be able to focus all your attention on successfully starting your new job.

  • Thank your references; let them know where you will be working and your job title.
  • Close down your search; the day before you start your new job notify companies/organizations where you have active applications that you have accepted a job and are withdrawing your application for employment.
  • Notify your prospective employer of any change in address/phone/email so they can reach you if necessary. Often a new job requires relocation; keep your new supervisors and HR department updated on changes.
  • Ask the HR department if you can review copies of employee handbook/IT policies before your first day of the job.
  • Locate documents https://www.uscis.gov/i-9 you will need to complete your I9 if you are going to be working in the US
  • Take care of medical/dental appointment. Though you may find you have more free time after you start working than you did when you were a student, your days will be more structured and going to the dentist means scheduling time off.
  • Start thinking of your job as your top priority, let friends knows you won’t be celebration the first day of your job (unless it is followed by a day off) and try to limit non-work commitments for the first few months of your new job.
  • Prepare for the first day on the job the same way you did you interview; know what you are going to wear, how you are going to get there, and allow extra time so you can arrive early on your first day.

First Day Details

Your goal: make a positive first impression and learn as much as you can about your new responsibilities.

  • Turn off your personal cell phone and check it only during breaks.
  • Smile as you meet and greet your new coworkers; you are making that all important first impression.
  • It is unusual to arrive on the first day of a new job and not have someone to show you around. If it happens, ask the receptionist or first friendly co-worker you meet if they know where you are to work, the rules about breaks and lunch, how to access email, and how to use the phone system.
  • If your boss or co-worker does not introduce you to the rest of the staff; introduce yourself to as many coworkers as possible, being careful not to interrupt their work.
  • If you attend an orientation meeting, be prepared to take notes and ask questions. These meetings usually cover policies and procedures you will responsible for following and perhaps implementing.
  • Stay busy. It often takes a few days before you are given assignments (other times the work is waiting for you). Sitting around doing nothing, or saying you have nothing to do is not the way to impress your boss or coworkers. Finding and reading manuals, the company website, or old files are ways to use extra time wisely.
  • Learn the office protocol for coffee. It sounds silly, but issues surrounding coffee are among the most heated office controversies. Before you take that first cup, ask if you should contribute to a coffee fund.

Special circumstances and how to handle them

  • You may be replacing a beloved co-worker who retired, was fired, or died. Don’t make disparaging remarks about the status of projects you have inherited.
  • The team you are joining has found ways to complete projects and meet deadlines. Discover what works for them. Ask questions before you start making or suggesting changes.
  • One or more of your co-workers may have competed for your job; stay positive and productive, so they see why you were selected (you got the job because of your qualifications – your boss knew you were the one who could do the job).

 

 

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