The work isn’t done once you get that job offer - there’s plenty to keep in mind when starting a new job in order to make a big impact. Here we’ve laid out some advice on how to manage yourself in order to make the most of your new job.
Most jobs will involve some amount of stress, especially around busy periods. If you’re feeling the pressures of work, it’s important to voice them and make sure you’re putting your wellbeing first.
Of course there are some measures you can take to help alleviate some of the stress before bringing it up with your manager.
Identify the reasons for the stress
If you know what’s causing your stress, you should focus first on eliminating or adjusting this. Is there a particular colleague who is making things difficult for you? Do the hours work well with your commute? Are you getting worried about money? Identifying the problem early on and discussing it with your superiors can save you a lot of unnecessary stress, and many employers will be very willing to negotiate.
Set yourself a manageable list at the beginning of the day
- Eat well & sleep more
- Take breaks
- Suggest out of work activities
- Change of environment
- Speak to your manager
- Change of hours?
Starting a new job is a both a nerve-wracking yet exciting time for anyone, no matter what age you are or how many ‘first days’ you’ve had in your career. You could have been the most confident person in your last office, but entering a new work environment may still leave you worrying about whether or not you’ll fit in.
So how should you prepare for a new job?
Be friendly and enthusiastic, but remember to still be yourself
It’s an obvious one really – everyone knows that first impressions count! Being friendly and eager to get stuck in will put you in good stead at any company, and will remind the employer why they hired you in the first place. Behave as if you’re still being interviewed. You may have passed the first test with the employer, but they’ll still be making sure that you fit in well with the rest of the team. However it’s important to still be yourself – no one can keep up a happy-go-lucky image forever, and it’s okay to have down-days at work and admit when you’re not quite happy with something.
Make an effort to join in and get to know the team
Starting a new job can sometimes feel like you’re back in school again, and suddenly it’s all about making friends and fitting in. During the first few days of your job, you should make an effort to get to know everyone. Ask them about what they do and what they enjoy and you’ll find yourself learning more about the company as well as your colleagues.
Social occasions are another big part of company lifestyle. If there are activities like after-work drinks, group lunches or sports teams, make an effort to get stuck in and get to know the team away from their desks. Games companies in particular enjoy having regular downtime to play games and organise work outings and activities!
Let go of bad habits and be prepared to learn
When starting a new job, sometimes you have to just swallow your pride and be prepared to keep learning. It can be difficult at first to remember that all companies work differently to each other, especially if you’re a senior who’s been in the industry for years. You need to let go of bad habits and be opening to learning new ways of doing things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how experienced you are.
Starting a new job is the perfect opportunity to assess your weaknesses and make an effort to improve them. You might be starting a remote role where you’re required to work from home. If organisation and meeting deadlines wasn’t your strong point at your last workplace, you should make it a priority to become more organised.
Aim to make your mark on the company
Unless you’re only in a job for the short haul, you should always think about what you can bring to a company and what the company can do you for your personal and career growth. Push yourself to work on challenging and rewarding projects, and think about how you can put your mark on it. If you’re working for a games studio for example, you’ll be playing an individual part of a larger team project. So while you’re helping to create an awesome game to improve the success of the studio, you’re also developing your own developer skills.
While some may shriek at just the thought of networking, it’s a necessary skill in any industry. Whether it’s landing a job or making vital connections for your existing position, how to correctly network is one skill that you should learn to perfect. With networking being so vital, we’ve come up with 10 tips and tricks to help you get over your fear of networking and how to get the most out of it.
Consider how you stand out
Especially if you’re a graduate, you need to think about why people will want to speak to you. Consider what makes you stand out from your peers and what you can offer those you’re networking with before you begin so that you have some idea of how to steer the conversation.
Identify who you want to network with beforehand
In the age of social networking it’s easy to identify who will be attending an event beforehand. Pick out who it is you want to talk to and what you wish to gain from networking with them. If need be, read up a bit about their work and company beforehand; just don’t make it obvious that you’ve been researching the individual to avoid any awkward situations.
Remember basic conversation protocol
Chances are when you think of the most important networker you know, that person is someone who comes off as confident and makes those they speak to feel important. Retaining eye contact and repeating a person’s name during conversation can go a long way. Listen and don’t make the conversation a one-way pitch about yourself. Above all if nothing else: remember to smile.
Ask open-ended questions
Asking who, what, where, why, when and how questions instead of simple yes and no questions create a more natural flow of conversation while removing stress from both you and the person you’re talking with to keep a conversation going. Above all else, this shows that you’re genuinely interested in networking with the person opposite you.
Remember networking isn’t a competition
Your time is valuable and a few good strong connections are worth more to you than a lot of weak connections which can’t be relied on. Focus your attention on those you think will yield the most positive experience.
Not naturally confident and social?
It’s estimated that nearly 50 percent of us consider ourselves as shy. In order to beat social anxiety at its game, consider pairing up with a friend or work colleague. In this case the pressure is shared and can help most come out of their shell. You and your networking partner can elevate each other and easily promote your cause between you.
Introduce other connections
Introducing those within your network to others can elevate your standing in their eyes, making them more likely to help you in the future. Not only will doing this grow your social reach, but it also makes it more interconnected, making collaborations all the easier.
Deepen those important connections
Talking to someone over email or briefly meeting them at an event, while a good starting point, is a weak connection. If this is someone you wish to do meaningful work with in the future, make a point of arranging a lunch meeting or a similar event to deepening your connection.
Remember to follow up
Following up is always your responsibility, don’t leave it on someone else’s shoulders. Send a quick email or phone call the following day from meeting someone to let them know you enjoyed meeting them and to discuss any arrangements you may have briefly made when meeting. Always do this the following day, waiting any longer risks making you seem disinterested.
Start using a software-based address book
If you’re starting to take networking to the next level, you should consider starting to use an address book to organise all those hard-won connections you’ve made. It’s easily organised, makes sure you won’t lose or mess up any contact information, and really in this day and age there aren’t many excuses not to.