Starting a New Job Can Be Challenging, Particularly for Women
For anyone, starting a new position can be one of the most stressful things we endure as humans. Will we fit in? Will we be good at our new job? Will my new co-workers accept me? These are just some of the questions we ask ourselves as we commute in for our first day at the new company.
Yet, for women, the challenges in starting a new job can be unique. Everything from how to dress accordingly to knowing when to speak up about the work they are doing, can be scrutinized. Women can also be unclear about when to ask for help, or when they have a work-related issue, who to go to. Many of the issues we’ll touch on are gender-neutral, so don’t feel like we’re singling out women here.
Dress for Success and Be Confident
Chances are, you may not have spruced up your professional wardrobe. Use this opportunity to create some new outfits that will make a positive impression. If you can, learn how other employees typically dress and see if you can draw some inspiration on what you observed when interviewing for your new position. If in doubt, it’s best to be over-dressed for the first few days than under-dressed. Be sure to group your outfits together in your closet so you can quickly get ready and be on time. If you layout five outfits for your first week, you won’t have to make any last-minute decisions about your wardrobe, and you’ll be sure to look professional.
Be Confident – Be Sure to Talk and Speak Your Mind When Appropriate
Most new hires are going to be nervous, so it’s typical to see them engaging in nervous chat. Try and limit nervous over-talking but be sure to chime in when your thoughts are relevant to a discussion. Meetings can be a good time to interject when you have something to say but avoid hogging too much attention. One technique for appearing more confident is to invite your colleagues to lunch during your first week on the job.
Be Innovative and Available
Try and offer your boss or colleagues interesting new ideas for how to enhance a product or the company in general. Most new hires tend to be overly quiet their first few weeks, so it helps to break out of that stereotype as much as possible. Try volunteering to tackle new tasks that come up or offer to help take on some extra work from an overly-burdened co-worker. Taking this kind of initiative signals that you’re a team player and willing to take on more responsibility – a valuable trait for any employee.
Keep it Professional and Separate Your Personal Life
Some fairly basic tips here include: be punctual to your job and to meetings. You don’t need to show up 45 minutes early for work, but definitely shoot for 5-10 minutes early. It’ll help you stay punctual in the event something goes wrong on the way in, like a traffic jam or a wardrobe problem at home. Don’t make personal calls or do personal business while at work. Be careful about your language in your work emails and always remember, you never know who’s going to ultimately see your emails. Something you say may get forwarded to someone else, so always choose your words wisely and definitely don’t bash your company or your colleagues in any way.
For some insights and experience from my first month at Startr Co, a Los Angeles-based firm that offers public relations for new businesses be sure to read my latest blog post.
About the Author
Account Coordinator, Startr Co
Gaby is Floridian at heart who has extensive public relations experience working within the hospitality, entertainment, food & beverage and lifestyle space. No matter what industry she’s working in, Gaby’s number one priority is to create buzz for her clients.