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3 Questions to Ask on Your First Day

The first day at a new job is always full of emotion – Excitement, anxiousness, and sense of curiosity, just to name a few. While it commonly shapes up to be a jam-packed day with HR meetings and learning the ropes, it is important to carve out time with both your manager and the wider team to become familiar with the position, as well as the status of current projects that you will now be a part of. Here are 3 crucial topics to cover off on, setting you up for success day one.

What is my focus today?
With an influx of brand new information in the first couple weeks of a new job, it is easy to lose focus on the role itself. Aligning with your manager on the most pressing tasks is essential to setting expectations moving forward – This could include project responsibilities, internal material, or client data. Not only will this help you, but it also shows your manager that you are ready to hit the ground running as a team player.

What should I know?
Every company and team work differently, holding various knowledge. There are specific things to pick-up on and outline to your manager, showing your level of attention – One being acronyms. Have you ever listened in to another department’s meeting, and understood less than half of the vernacular? It is normal to step into an organization and be lost with their specific company and / or industry jargon, but it is important to recognize this and do your research. Identifying these points will place you with the rest versus putting you behind as the newbie.

Additionally, use this time to recognize the employee evaluation process. Surprisingly, not all organizations have a formal review method. Asking this question will do one of two things – Bring you up to speed with the current timeline and mark your 3-month review date or bring the lack of process to your manager’s attention and, hopefully, put one in place.

What processes can I expect?
Every supervisor has procedures and expectancies that may seem standard to them but out of the ordinary to you, and, sometimes, it could take months before noticing these particularities. To avoid any awkward encounters, be transparent and ask for this up front. Do they prefer to be copied on all emails? What is their communication style? Do they allow work from home days or are you assumed to abide by a true 9-5? Knowing this right off the bat will help groom you early on around how things truly work with the team, removing the potential for any surprises later.

Asking these questions will very likely impress your boss and set you ahead within the first couple of hours at your new company. Making a good first impression is key, alongside getting ahead of your future projects with fundamental understanding of how things work on a daily basis.