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Making a strong start

First impressions count

In your first few weeks on the job you will be juggling the task of creating a good impression along with your other new duties. A strong start in this area will go far towards ensuring that you are confirmed when your probationary period has ended and that you have created the networks which will help to thrive.
Even though you are expected to be eager and enthusiastic, you should not try to "show up" others by doing three times the amount of work that they do.

Newbies rule book

Be eager - If you've finished a task, ask for a new one.
Take the initiative - Suggest alternative ways of going about certain tasks.
Talk the talk - Join others at lunch and show by your comments that you want to be a team worker.
Show - respect - ask questions and involve others in getting work done
Don't be shy - Network and get to know as many people as possible.
Kareen Cox, Coordinator, Career Resources at HEART/Trust NTA, states that a major challenge any new employee can expect to face the first week on the job is understanding the culture of your new employers. This is especially true for university graduates (or high school graduates) who are working for the first time, or those persons who are making a dramatic career change.

"Every organization has a specific culture, including mode of dress and employee-boss interaction, and it is important that every new employee understands and adapts to that culture. Quick assimilation into the organization will go a long way in ensuring that you successfully complete your probationary period," Cox states.

Other researchers usggest that knowing your job objectives and researching what you will need it do in order to keep abreast of each is a key preparation strategy for the first few weeks. Here are some other tips for first week survival:

** If your predecessor was loved, find out why. If he or she was disliked, then find out what it was about your predecessor that your staff did not like, and ask them what they would like from you as a manager. Listening to your team's thoughts about your predecessor can provide you with a great deal of insight..

** Remember people's names. Remembering or forgetting names is something that can make a very good or a very bad impression. Build rapport with your staff from the start and remembering their names is the most basic way of doing so.

Among the challenges with which you will be faced will be the need to develop good relationships. This the experts advise can be done by showing respect for the experience of your staff/co-workers and letting them know that you value their knowledge and experience.
This you can do by asking them questions and involving them in your orientation during your first week.
If you are in a supervisory position, one rule of thumb is that you are well advised not to try to make changes immediately, as appearing critical in your first week will alienate those you need to work with.
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