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Changing jobs or starting a new contract can be stressful. You can feel scrutinized and out of place if you let these feelings get the best of you.  As a consultant I change clients fairly frequently and here are my strategies for making the most of the first day on the job.

 

8 Strategies to Make the Most of Your First Day on the Job

Arrive on time
First impressions are important, so I make sure that I always arrive early when starting at a new client site.  Not only does this ensure that I’m not late, but it also allows me to review any notes I have on the new gig and relax a bit before game time.

Have confidence in yourself and your place here
Like many, I can fall victim of “impostor syndrome” if I allow myself to question whether or not I belong. I make sure to remind myself that thanks to the interview process and my past accomplishments, I do belong.

Listen more than speak
It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that you are there to make change on the first day, but I have found that it is a much better strategy to instead focus on listening and learning on the first day and only providing input when I really understand the people and problems at hand.

Learn people’s names
Learning the names as soon as possible is vital to fitting into your new team. Nothing dispels the feeling of “new guy” better than not having to ask names over and over or pretending to know names when you don’t.

Take notes
I take a lot of notes the first day on the job. It shows my new team members that I’m listening to them and also provides an invaluable resource of things I should know (like everyone’s name) in the days to come.

Find the docs
Ask your new team members where the documentation is that you can review. You probably won’t have time to dig into it on the first day, but it will help you productively fill the holes in the days to come.

Understand expectations
One of the most important things to do on the first day is to understand what you will be working on at a high level and what will be expected of you in the weeks to come.

Go to lunch with your new team
Try and go to lunch with your new team.  Lunch away from the office is a nice way to get to know the people who you will rely on to help as you transition into becoming a productive team member.

 

Lay a Path For Success

You do belong at that new job and focusing on the strategies above will help both you and your teammates understand that quickly.  Consulting, as I do, offers many opportunities for professional growth and success.  With many ‘first days’ under my belt, I can honestly say it has strengthened and widened my professional skillset immensely.  If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about a consulting career at Intertech, check out Intertech’s career guide.  A consulting career with Intertech means great assignments and opportunities for professional growth, solid compensation and a work culture routinely recognized as a best place to work.

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