Alvin Hope Johnson business woman at work

Starting a new job can be extremely scary. It’s like the first day of school all over again: you don’t have a new routine yet; you’re meeting a lot of new people; and, you don’t know where you’re going.

In short: there will be a lot happening. It might be more comfortable to sit back and just take it all in, but if you really want to succeed at this new company, there are a few things you should do instead:

Have questions ready.

Yes, listening is absolutely important, but asking questions here and there, especially when you’re unsure of something, shows that you are eager to learn.

Keep your elevator pitch handy.

You’ll have to introduce yourself to lots of different people, so might as well know what you’re going to say already organized in a concise manner. It’ll save you time from having to come up with a new introduction every time.

Be fifteen minutes early.

It shows that you are taking this opportunity seriously and respect the rules that the authorities have handed down. And, if the commute is new, take the time to practice before you officially start, so you know what to expect in a worst-case scenario.

Observe, observe, observe.

Be a sponge. Soak up everything possible, especially when it comes to the social part. Cliques are inevitable; it’s just a fact. Take the time to get to know the various cliques within the office, and figure out who has a reputation for what. Hierarchies matter, and while sometimes they can be as obvious as job titles, sometimes they’re not. Also, something else good to know? The nearest good coffee shop, and the nearest drugstore.


You want to seem approachable! Body language is important, and it’s not a bad idea to refresh your memory on the basics ahead of time. You want to project the right energy, and looking angry or upset does not.

Be a team player from the start.

If a co-worker invites you to lunch, say yes! It’s an opportunity to network and shows that you want to integrate yourself into the office as seamlessly as possible. If you don’t have any assignments because you’re so new, ask your boss for one.

Navigate the office.

Last, but not least, take the day to explore your new surroundings! Learn where the breakroom is, or where to get the extra staples from the supply closet.

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