Starting a new engineering job is both exciting and scary. Whether you’re starting your first role out of university or have been in the industry for many years, entering a new work environment can make you feel anxious. A successful start requires a good onboarding process, as well as the drive to show the best version of yourself and make a good impression. In this article, we discuss how to get a good start in your new engineering role by exploring some of the things you can do in your first week.
Show that you’re a good fit
During the first week in your new role, your employer will be looking for confirmation that you are a good fit for the position and for the organisation so take some time to show that you truly were the best person for the job. You can do this in a variety of ways by listening and learning, being punctual, dressing appropriately and being engaged in key meetings and/or discussions.
Get to know the team and cross-functional teams
Once you’ve completed your HR induction and have your computer logins and company badges, it’s time to get to know the people you will be interacting with on a regular basis. In your first week try and find out about who you will be working with and schedule some time for a catch-up to understand how you will both be working together. Ask them questions about their careers to date, how you fit into their job role and how you both can work with each other successfully to get the best outcome for the business.
If your new team have a social activity planned or are off out for drinks on Friday after work, consider joining in with them as it will help you get to know them in a more relaxed environment.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
When you’re new, it’s natural to want to appear capable and confident, but don’t make the mistake of not asking questions. One of the benefits of being in a new role is that you’re given time to adjust to the new role and new environment, so naturally, there are going to be things you don’t know.
Use your first few weeks in your new role to learn more about the company and understand the work you will be doing. Asking for help is a great way to show that you’re not afraid to seek out other people’s opinions when needed.
Understand your targets
When you start a new job role, the first few weeks can involve a lot of learning. Before you get started, you should aim to understand the key metrics you will be targeted on. The clearer it is for you, the better chance you’ll have at succeeding in your new job role.
Set realistic goals
Make it clear to yourself and your new manager what your career goals are – this can be both short-term and long-term as it will help to give you both something to work towards. During your first month in your new role, it can be easy to feel a little lost, but when you have goals mapped out it can bring extra guidance to every day.
Learn by shadowing
The great thing about starting a new engineering role is that you will often learn by shadowing people who have been in the business longer than you. Shadowing a more experienced engineer will help you understand the key deliverables expected and the teams you will work with to help you become familiar with your new role.
Don’t be rigid with your schedule in your first couple of weeks, allow yourself some extra time to work late or arrive early. Spending additional time in the office in the first few weeks can help your understanding of your role and increase your comfort level with colleagues and your new responsibilities.
Take care of yourself
Starting a new job can be an exciting yet stressful experience. You don’t want to burn yourself out in your first week so it’s important to take care of your mental and physical well-being.
While you may feel as though you should spend every hour dedicated to your new employer and job role, doing so quickly can de-motivate you so be sure to spend some time away from the office doing activities that you enjoy. Science has shown that when we do something we enjoy, we are likely to be more productive, less stressed, and happier in our day to day lives.
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