Start Your New Job With Small Victories

By Chelsea Babin

So you’ve come to the end of your job search and you’re about to start your new job, congratulations! Take some time to celebrate before you dive into preparation for you new job. That’s right, you need to prepare for your new job just as much as you prepared for interviews. The first few weeks to a month at a new job can feel just as overwhelming as the job search process if you aren’t prepared.

You’ll be learning the ins-and-outs of everyday business at a company you’ve never worked for. Even if you have ample experience in the position you’ve accepted, every company does things a little differently than the last. Then, of course, there’s the pressure to make a good impression from the get go. You want to hit the ground running and show your value from day one!

If you want to focus on learning while still showing your value, look for opportunities for small victories. This could be anything from identifying an inconsistency in a line of code documentation to helping one of your coworkers fix a bug. Not sure what to look for when you’re identifying small opportunities to show your strength? Try the three H’s.

1. Help: Small victories can only be achieved if you’re really helping move work forward. A great way to find these opportunities is to offer your help to anyone who needs it. If you want to make this into a learning opportunity, you could even find a coworker who knows something about the project you’re working on that you haven’t gotten a firm grasp on yet and offer to help them if they’ll help you learn. This will not only present you with an opportunity for a small victory, it will help you get to know your coworkers much faster.

2. History: If you aren’t confident that your input will be appreciated, needed, or even warranted in a certain situation, those aren’t the places to look for small opportunities. Go with what you know and what you have a history of success in at other organizations.

3. Habit: Some companies will have carefully analyzed procedures so that everything you do each day is for a good reason. Others may simply have a few procedures in place that have evolved from habit, rather than efficiency. You can find a small opportunity for victory if you analyze each habit you’re expected to adopt and see if any of them can be sped up, eliminated, or re-evaluated.

Don’t just focus on huge projects during your first few weeks at the company. You’ll want to have a few small victories early on to prove your worth before you’ve completely learned the ropes. Find these opportunities for small victories and you’ll cement your place in that company’s top talent for years to come!