Amidst the Great Resignation, there are a number of resources available to job seekers outlining how to prepare for the job search and what to do during, but what should you be doing after you’ve landed your dream job and signed the offer letter?
With 63% of job seekers searching for “remote or work from home jobs”, it’s not unlikely you’re among them. Hopefully, you were able to lock-in the flexible work environment you were seeking, but without the ability to make the in-person first impression we’re all used to, how can you be best prepared for your first day in this new normal?
Here are seven tips to build a foundation for success at your new company.
You’ve accepted the offer, now what?
Read Your Onboarding Materials Carefully
Carefully review any onboarding materials your new employer has sent you. Feeling confident about first-day expectations and logistics, including basics such as when and where you’re expected to be, can help to ease first-day anxiety.
Additionally, if your new hiring manager has reached out, they’re likely sending you need-to-know details they feel are necessary for you to have a positive start with their team. Any information they provide, and thoughtful responses you send back, will assist you in proving your competency and attention-to-detail before you’ve officially joined the payroll.
Refresh Your Workspace
Whether you’ve already been working from home or you are building an at-home workspace for the first time, decluttering the physical space that you work will impact your productivity. If previously working from home, remove any unnecessary supplies or leftover items from your previous job. Add a new lamp, reposition your pencil box – do what you can to rework your space for a fresh start.
Your new company might have sent you supplies for your at-home workspace. If so, make sure to set up your new equipment and ensure everything is in working order. If you’ll be on video calls, test your lighting, audio and background to ensure you’re feeling confident heading into your first day. For example, Avenue mailed me a new desk from Fully and ordered other at-home workstation essentials directly to my door. My partner and I took the weekend before I started at Avenue to assemble my desk and make sure my workspace felt ready to go!
Reflect on Your Learning Style
Think back to the last time you learned a significant amount of new information. It might be the last time you started a new job, took a class or worked through a professional development course. Evaluate how you took notes and processed the information. Consider what worked well and what you would do differently.
Following your reflection, ensure you have a plan of action to process all of the information you’ll receive during your onboarding. Identify the platform you most prefer to take notes with – I like OneNote because I’m able to build out separate tabs for each onboarding call, plus easily mark whether there are urgent or action items that I’ll need to complete. If your company uses Outlook heavily, consider how you will sort and organize incoming emails for future reference.
Having a mental game plan will help you process new information efficiently and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
Rest and Refuel
Most importantly, make sure that you are taking time for yourself during the transition period. If possible, give yourself a few days off between jobs in order to reflect, prepare and refuel before you jump into what’s next.
Listen to your body and be gentle with yourself. Read the book on your shelf, take that day trip to the coast, schedule your overdue coffee date or cancel all of your social plans. You know what you need during the transition period to fill yourself up – make space for yourself so you’re in the best headspace possible for your new adventure!
Day one is here, let’s make a great first impression!
Kickoff Day One in Your Designated At-Home Workspace
There will likely be time to work from a coffee shop, a friend’s house or wherever else the wifi calls to you, but for day one let’s work in a comfortable space that’s free of distractions and questionable internet connection. Use your first few days (or weeks) to get to know your company’s culture and work environment expectations. Do they prefer camera on vs. camera off? How often are you on client vs. internal calls? Are work hours flexible or defined? It’s best to be prepared and have a good feel for your day-to-day obligations before pursuing remote-work adventures.
Be Authentic and Ask Questions
Whether remote or not, it’s so important to be authentic. Be honest and clear about your learning style and abilities. When connecting with your team, be your true self. They hired you for a reason – whatever came through during the interview process made them feel confident in your abilities and cultural fit – try not to forget this!
It can feel daunting to raise your hand when you don’t understand something or to ask for additional information, but asking the right questions shows your employer how you process information and that you’re genuinely engaged in the onboarding process
Facing information overload and don’t have any questions at the moment? Totally fine (and normal!), but make sure you’re digesting the information and, as questions arise, you’re following up to understand company policy and processes. Remember, your goal is to build a strong foundation that will lend itself to future success with the company. Show up, engage authentically and be open to vulnerability as you adjust!
Provide Honest Feedback
It’s not unlikely your new company will ask you for feedback regarding the onboarding process. Whether it’s questions about the process itself or your personal capacity throughout, provide your manager or team with honest constructive feedback. Assuming they have your best interest in mind, they need authentic feedback to adjust the onboarding process in real time for your success and for future employees.
Avenue uses 15five for weekly check-ins and as a tool to organize 1-on-1 topics. This platform allows the user to rate their mental wellbeing and workload, as well as leave commentary for their manager. In addition to this, I was provided a document to reflect on my first week with the company and a space to provide feedback about my overall onboarding experience.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let your team know which areas you might need further review or one-on-one time. If you feel the process is moving too slowly, share a fuller picture of your expertise and the areas that you already feel confident in. Onboarding feedback is mutually beneficial for you and your employer. They can refine their process and you can make the most out of your training period. We all want to be successful at what we do, this is one way you can build rapport and strengthen your professional foundation.