5 Things to Do on Your First Day at Work

26 04 2016

For most of us, navigating the work environment on our first day at the job is much like riding a roller-coaster. The excitement of meeting your new colleagues and getting familiar with on-site duties blends with the anxiety of making a good first impression.

Learning the ropes may take a while. As such, getting a good head start makes all the difference. On top of all the effort you’ve put into landing that much-desired position, there’s still a lot more prepping and planning that needs to be done in order to secure your spot in the company and make sure you will be there for the long term.

Here are the top five things to do in your first day at work to make sure you’re in it for the long haul.

first day on the job

1.      Go in Ready to Learn the Culture of the Company

The first day at work may be tantalizing if you go in unprepared. Take the time beforehand to prepare relevant questions for your future colleagues, even if you know the standard answers to some of them. Letting the day pass by quietly will shine an unfavorable light upon you. Asking relevant questions to the people you meet is the first clue that you’re a proactive person, eager to learn.

As the first few weeks on the job are really just an extension of the interview, use them wisely. Use the first day to kick start a self-centered campaign during which everything you do is intended to let the qualities you were hired for in the first place show.

2.      Prepare the ‘Elevator Pitch’

People are curious. As you are the new face around, some of your colleagues will ask about you and your role in the company. Be prepared to answer such questions without hesitation. They’re meant to genuinely find out more about you, your role and start up a conversation.

Just in case you were not aware, this particular phase takes a bit of preparation, as well. Let’s say you’ve just landed an awesome position as a product developer at Target. On top of all the research you’ve already done about the job itself and what the application process entails, you’re going to want to explore the relationship dynamics within the company and how you can fit into that environment as naturally as possible.

One easy way to do that is to simply go on LinkedIn, research people who are already working at Target and try to start up a friendly conversation with them. This will give you a bit of insight on the types of people that are already working there and even give you the opportunity to make a few friends before the actual starting date.

If your new colleagues seem too busy to welcome you, don’t shy away from introducing yourself. Talk to everyone you meet. Eventually, it will pay off.

3.      Relax and Smile

Your first day at work will be a breeze to navigate if you’re relaxed and friendly. People appreciate an open person with a relaxed yet professional attitude. Everyone has been on their first day at work at some point. As such, nobody’s out to get you.

The stress caused by trying too hard can only get in your way. Keep in mind that the first impression matters yet that you have already passed the interview and you’re there for a reason. Let the process naturally unfold one step at a time. Once you learn the ropes of the work environment, you’ll have more chances to shine.

4.      Observe, Listen and Learn

Despite feeling the urgent need to affirm yourself immediately, the wisest option is to observe, listen and learn. Refrain from stating strong opinions about one topic or another. Instead, listen to what your colleagues have to say and learn why.

A wealth of valuable information is readily available directly from the people you meet during the first day at the job. Thus, this is the perfect opportunity to get a better grasp of the big picture, learn about decision making in the company and how ‘political capital’ is built along with relations with people who may become your best friends.

5.      Figure out the Unwritten Rules of the Office Environment

This isn’t a joke. No matter how professional the environment your work in, there are habits and small things that make people go irrationally mad. If there is a kitchen, ask about the Dos and Don’ts related to this common space. Some are annoyed by the improper use of the fridge. Some have their personal corners where their coffee mug reigns undisturbed. Whatever it is, you need to figure out the unwritten rules starting day one. It will make your life easier.

All in all, the first day at work should encompass a balanced approach to letting others in on your personality and role in the company and learning to navigate the work culture and environment as soon as possible.

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****For this helpful post, Campus to Career thanks Thea Millard!!****

Thea MillardAbout the author: Thea Millard is an HR Manager and a part-time consultant, dedicated to helping people find satisfying careers and incorporating the best resources possible for maximum work efficiency

 

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How Women are Finding Success in Nontraditional Occupations [INFOGRAPHIC]

19 04 2016

Guest post by Kathy Jackson.

If you’re a woman looking for a well-paying career with great opportunities for advancement, then you might want to consider searching beyond the traditional roles that women usually take in childcare, administration, and accounting. This infographic Tulsa Welding School developed highlights five careers in the skilled trades that have a lot to offer the modern workingwoman. Check them out to see if one may just be right for you.

1. HVAC Technician

Demand for these professionals is expected to grow by 14 percent through 2024, which is much faster than average. The mean annual wage for an HVAC technician is $46,880, and this field has plenty of room for advancement: you could climb the career ladder to become a distribution manager or operation manager.

2. Electrician

With job growth also set at 14 percent through 2024, becoming an electrician could not only provide job security but also great pay; electricians enjoy an average annual salary of $54,520, but there are many opportunities for career growth. It’s possible to pursue additional education in order to move up to project management or engineering.

3. Welder

With over half of U.S. products requiring a welder to manufacture and a predicted shortage of 400,000 of these professionals by 2024, welders will likely be in high demand for some time. Welders are able to work in a variety of locations and for a lot of different companies. Many even get to travel regularly for their jobs.

4. Pipefitter

Only 1.6 percent of all pipefitters are women, but this skillset is in high demand: jobs for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are expected to grow 12 percent through 2024—faster than the national average. That means that there are a lot of opportunities for qualified men and women to find jobs in this field.

5. Construction Business Owner

If you want to start your own construction business, you’ll be happy to know that 17.5 percent of people working in the construction industry are self-employed. The federal government has implemented legislation to ensure female-owned construction companies are entitled to bid on projects, and the number of such companies has been steadily rising in recent years.

The skilled trades offer some impressive career opportunities for women. Review the infographic below to learn more.

 

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5 Tips for a Successful Skype Interview

12 04 2016

No matter what type of job you’re seeking (or going to seek),  odds are that you’ll do a Skype or teleconferencing interview. Companies especially love to use this to screen out candidates, as it’s quick and cheaper than flying you onsite.

Skype interviews can feel unnerving because you’re not physically in the same space as the person. But managed correctly, Skype interviews can be successful.

picjumbo.com_HNCK4011Here are my tips for a successful video interview (#4 is especially important).

  1.  Test out the technology at least half an hour  before hand and make sure your account and your microphone works.Have your interview contact’s phone and email prepped, in case there are tech issues and you need to speak with them in an alternative format.

  2.  Put your laptop on a regular desk (or kitchen table if you don’t have a desk at home),so you can recreate the same height and depth of sitting across from someone.

  3. Wear what you’d wear to an in-person interview, i.e.  a suit. At worst, you look overdressed, at best you seem prepared and professional.

  4. During interview, look straight into the webcam (important as it’s a way to make “eye” contact);  resist the urge to look at the person’s face the whole time as you’re not actually looking at him/her.
  1. End the interview with questions. This is universal, whether you’re in-person or doing a teleconferencing interview. You must ask three good questions, preferably those that get at what success in the job looks like, what traits/ attributes the company wants in that hire, etc.

Using these tips should help you nail that next Skype interview.

****For this informative post, Campus to Career thanks Mishri Someshwar!!****

About the author: Mishri Someshwar helps entrepreneurs and senior business leaders craft effective speeches, conference presentations, and anything else they need to sound good in front of investors, colleagues, conference attendees, and more. Past clients include startup founders, sales VPs and C-suite leaders. To get her answers on the three mostly commonly asked job interview questions, click here.