Sunday, September 15, 2019

Joining a New Company: What Not to Do? 

Congratulations! You’re joining a new company, and you want to start things off on the right foot. Be it with your colleagues or boss, first impressions are long-lasting, and you don’t want to make the wrong one — and spend days or even weeks rectifying them. In this potpourri of anxiety, stress, and excitement, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to help you sail through the first days of joining a new company:

Don’t Dress unprofessionally

While you may be confident with your work clothes, there’s no harm in double checking the dress code with the HR in advance. As a rule of thumb, avoid wearing new dresses, shirts, or shoes on the first day. New shoes bite; the new dress could be too tight/ loose, etc. Pick something that you’ve worn a couple of times before — so it’s relatively new but comfortable enough in the first few days of joining a new company.

Don’t Be late

Be on time, if not before! Set the alarm 15 minutes earlier or use an extra one if required. Being late on the first day of work leaves a guaranteed negative impression. On the contrary, an early entrance would be greeted with enthusiasm. Ideally, you should reach 10-15 minutes before time.

Start making immediate changes

This is not the day for trumpeting about your triumphs. Spend the day listening to your coworkers/ boss/ HR. Keep a diary or notepad handy to make a list of to-do things. You probably had received prior information from the HR, so make sure you connect with the required people. Also, don’t just start changing things on day one. It is the time to note things quietly and then evaluate them rationally.

Don’t Pull your rank

If you’ve been assigned to a senior post, then you have a wider territory to look at which includes management, the designation of tasks, etc. However, don’t pull your ranks on the first day and start bossing people around. It will reflect that you are probably insecure about the job. Simply offloading your tasks on colleagues or your team members is a strict No-No. You should believe you have the potential to get the job done. Do ask for help, but don’t impose.

Wait before you Implement a cookie-cutter plan

What worked for your last job might not work for the new one. Most people stick to or follow a standard plan. It’s time to blend in with the changing times and work cultures rather than staying put with the same old theories and concepts. Some workplaces do have a system of orientation to help you acclimatize to their working style. If not, you can try taking initiatives and use a few tricks from your older plan.

Be wary of exhibiting poor work etiquette 

There are a few unsaid and informal rules about work culture and etiquette that remain universal. This is very important on the first day (and the next few to come):

  • Don’t make personal jokes or comments about colleagues and peers.
  • Spend too much time on your phone, talking or surfing. If there’s an urgent call, speak softly, make it quick and hang up

Wait before you talk about changes in the contract or an increment

Before joining a new company, you are likely to have signed a contract or agreed to one. On the first day of joining, do not ask for changes in the same or for more money than what was agreed upon. You should have worked for a few months to prove your worth to the employer before asking for any such changes.

Remember, it’s completely alright to be stressed out. You cannot learn everything in a day. So do not feel awkward about asking for help or assistance. Doing so simply shows that you are eager to nail the task and set things right.

Jappreet Sethi

Jappreet Sethi
I am a HR & Business Strategy professional with experience of leading HR & People Consulting practice of multinational professional services firms. I specialize in designing & delivering dynamic learning experiences in service of human development. I have over a decade of experience across various facets of HR and Process Consulting. I am a Six-Sigma Black Belt along with a certification in using Lean for process improvement. I am also a certified user for psychometric instruments like MBTI, FIRO, CPI & Saville Consulting Suite; I am among the few in India who specialize in using Art and Drama for Leadership Development and Personal Counseling. I have been rated twice as one of the Top 100 employee engagement experts in the world by a New York Times bestselling author.

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