Word on the street is, you just landed a new job. Congratulations!
Starting a new job comes with a heap of emotions: excitement about the endless possibilities, maybe some fear that you might not like the job, and definitely some nervous jitters for your first day in the office.
I totally get that! The good news is, the hard part is over. You used the Proximity Principle to make the right connections, you got your resumé noticed, you nailed the interview, and most importantly, you were offered the job. You should be proud!
All that’s left now, before you start winning in your new role, is to meet the right people your first week on the job. Knowing the right people early on will help you build crazy upward momentum as you make your climb to the top.
Let’s get right to it!
The 5 People You Should Meet Your First Week on the Job
1. Your Leader
I know what you’re thinking: Well thanks, Sherlock. Everyone knows they should meet their leader the first week on the job. Sure, that may be true. But let me ask you this: Do you know what you should be prepared to meet with them about? That’s what I want to clarify.
Ready to find your dream job? We'll show you how.
The reasons it’s crucial to meet your leader the first week is so you can:
Know your role: This isn’t about your job title. Knowing your role is about having complete clarity around what your manager expects from you. That’s why I want you to sit down with your leader and walk through your job description bullet by bullet. When you know exactly what success looks like in each area of your job description, you’ll be prepared to win.
Accept your role: Whether this new job is a stepping stone or your actual dream job, be ready to accept the role you’re in today. Every step is important, and you never know how important this role will be in your next role. Focus on winning in the present and have an attitude of gratitude toward the work in front of you today.
Maximize your role: Maximizing is all about the effort you put into executing your current role. Nothing will get you noticed by your leaders and your peers more quickly than going above and beyond what your role requires. When your leader is sharing their expectations for your role, make a note of anything they mention that isn’t listed on your job description. Those are areas where you can maximize your role by doing more than is required. That might look like supporting a colleague in another department or helping big projects cross the finish line. Be ready to seize these opportunities as they come up.
2. The Real Boss
Behind every successful and organized leader is an assistant (or office manager) who makes it all happen. Don’t underestimate the power the executive assistant holds. They manage calendars, keep leaders on task, and make the impossible happen every single day.
That’s why I think it’s critical to know your leader’s assistant.
They can help you:
schedule meetings with your leader
understand the organizational chart
help with administrative tasks like requesting time off or getting an important document signed
No one in the office will know your leader better than their assistant—that’s reason enough to meet them as soon as possible.
3. The Senior
Think back to when you were a freshman in high school or college. How beneficial would it have been to befriend a senior who knew the ins and outs of the campus and who could give you tips on how to survive and thrive during the next four years?
You may not be in school anymore, but when you’re starting a new job, the same idea applies—it’s like you’re a freshman all over again. If you can get to know a “senior” in the company your first week on the job, you’ll save yourself from the potential embarrassment (and just plain hassle) that comes with being a newbie.
Someone who’s been at the company a few years can help you adapt to company culture, teach you who’s who in the office, and even show you where to get the best cup of coffee. That’s definitely someone you want in your corner.
4. The Benefits Pro
Okay, I know talking about benefits isn’t very fun. Trust me, I’m not a fan of it either. Choosing benefits usually involves a pile of paperwork and a bunch of jargon you can’t understand. Regardless, it’s important to get this right. You want to make sure you choose the right health insurance, retirement plan, life insurance, etc. for you and your family.
That’s why, even though it’s not fun to talk about, it’s important to befriend the benefits pro at your new job.
Not only will the benefits pro make you aware of everything the company offers and help you enroll in things like your company health insurance plan, but they’ll also be incredibly helpful during life milestones (like getting married or having children) when you need to make updates to your insurance plans.
Just keep one thing in mind: While the benefits pro can make sure you know about all the perks offered, what they can’t do is tell you what to enroll in and what to decline. If you need help in that area, check out our 5-Minute Coverage Checkup. This short assessment will help you determine what kind of coverage you need (and don’t need), depending on your age and stage in life.
You might be missing important coverage for you and your family and not even know it, so don’t skip this opportunity to get the protection you need!
5. The Professional
I talk about the professional in my book The Proximity Principle. The professional is someone who is excelling at the work you’re doing (or want to do) at the highest level. They’re experienced and are willing to show you the tricks of the trade and give you insight into what it takes to succeed.
If you can find a professional inside the company you’re now working for, you’ll be in close proximity whenever you have a question or hurdle to overcome.
If you’re an entry-level project manager, meet a senior project manager.
If you’re a mid-level publicist, befriend the director of publicity.
If you’re a senior developer, get to know the VP of product.
You see where I’m going with this!
If your new job is at a small company where you’re the only team member who does what you do, look outside your company to find a professional who can help you navigate the roads ahead.
Having the professional in your corner will take off some of the pressure that comes with starting a new job because you’ll always have someone to turn to who understands exactly what your job requires. Their wisdom will be priceless.
Alright, folks—there you have it. If you’re starting a new job, make sure you meet your leader, the real boss (your leader’s assistant), the senior, the benefits pro and the professional your first week in the office.
Remember, the hard part is over. You went through the long and difficult journey of getting a job offer. Now all that’s left is to make the best first impression. Go get ‘em!
About Ken Coleman
Pulling from his own personal struggles, missed opportunities and career successes, Coleman helps people discover what they were born to do and provides practical steps to make their dream job a reality.