The 10 Things You Should Do In The First 30 Days of a New Job
July 23, 2018
The first month of a new job is often a nerve-racking experience.
There are new people. New customs. Abbreviations you don’t know. And, the whole time you are wondering if you are making a good impression, if you are doing the right things and if your boss really likes you.
Well, we are here to help. In her LinkedIn Learning course What to Do in the First 90 Days of a New Job, Instructor Aimee Bateman dedicates the most time on what to do in the first 30. She describes that first month as the “absorb” month, where you absorb a plethora of information: who the key partners are, what the culture is like, what the KPIs are, etc.
In your first month of a new job, Bateman listed ten things you should do. Use her suggestions as a roadmap, as following them will ensure you both make a good impression with your colleagues and set yourself up for future success.
The 10 things you should in your first month of a new job
Bateman suggests doing these 10 things in your first 30 days of a new job:
1. Talk about your “why.”
When you introduce yourself to new colleagues, don’t just focus on the what – as in, what you previously did and what you do now. Instead, include the why.
So, talk about why you chose this job. Or why you are passionate about the company or the field. This automatically will make introductions more engaging and leave a positive and lasting imprint in people’s minds.
2. Ask people what they expect from you.
The first few weeks of the job are generally spent meeting with a variety of key partners. In these meetings, ask this critical question – “What do you expect from me?”.
This will help you build a close relationship with each partner and crystalize how you can best serve them.
3. Understand how your manager is measured.
A key to being successful in any job is managing your manager. And, to do this well, you need to understand what they are being measured on.
Maybe there’s one metric they are held to. Or, perhaps it’s more about internal sentiment within the organization about their team. Whatever it is, if you can understand what your manager cares most about, you’ll drastically increase your chances of forming a stronger relationship with them.
4. Ask a lot of questions.
Like, a lot of questions. If there’s any doubt, ask a question.
Most people will appreciate this, as it shows you have a strong willingness to learn. And you should have a strong willingness to learn – you need to understand the business quickly and it’s usually pretty complicated.
So, if you are in doubt, ask a question. It’ll get you up-to-speed much faster than trying to figure it out on your own.
5. Memorize the org chart.
People really like it when you know their name and what they do. But, when you start you often spend so much time meeting so many people, it can be easy to forget.
Take some time to memorize your broader team's org chart. This way, you’ll know people’s names, their roles and you’ll have a good sense of who you need to partner with.
6. Create and learn your pitch.
You are going to meet a lot of people in your first two weeks. In that time, create and perfect your elevator pitch on who you are and what you do.
Remember the message from the first point on this list – keep in the why. So, yes, in your first month you should be able to quickly articulate what you do. But also, if you can, throw in a line about why you are passionate about your job.
7. Learn as much as you can about the organization.
The first month on the job is often less busy than when you get into the heat of the position. Use that down time wisely by learning as much as you can about the organization.
That means attending all the all-hands and department meetings you can, as well as any optional cultural ones. Read the company’s annual report. Watch previous presentations of your company’s CEO.
Once the pace of your job picks up, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day. Building that foundational understanding of your organization’s philosophy and goals early will empower you to act more strategically throughout your tenure at the organization.
8. Learn about your customers.
Regardless of what you do in your organization, your ultimate job is to fix the problems of your organization's customers. So, do what you can to learn about them as much as possible, as early as possible.
At the very least, meet with the sales team and look at market research in your first month. Even better, see if you can listen in on some sales calls or speak directly with customers, so you have a clear understanding of their mindset and needs.
9. Learn about the company’s culture.
Do your best to understand the culture of your organization in your first 30 days for a variety of reasons. First off, it’ll help you comply with the organization’s norms. And second, big picture, it’ll help you understand if this job is really a fit for you long term.
So, ask colleagues what’s really rewarded at the organization and how promotions are determined. Go to any company cultural activities, if there are any. Notice if people are expected to stay to 6 p.m. each day, or if hours are flexible so long as you get your job done. Learn who the real influencers are within your organization.
All of this will give you a good sense of the company culture.
10. Understand your performance metrics.
Last but certainly not least – you need to fully understand how you are being judged. What are the biggest metrics you'll be judged on? What does your boss and your boss’s boss care most about?
Here, edge on the side of overcommunication. If there’s any doubt in your mind how you’ll be judged, ask your boss. The clearer it is in your mind, the better chance you’ll have of succeeding in your role.
If your new role is a management position, check out our article 7 Things Every New Manager Should Do In Their First Month on the Job.
Want to learn what to do in the second and third months of a new job? Watch Aimee Bateman’s full course, What to Do in the First 90 Days of a New Job.
Other LinkedIn Learning courses you might be interested in are:
- Body Language for Leaders
- Professional Networking
- Managing Your Career
- Influencing Others
- New Manager Foundations