Create Your Onboarding Experience When Starting a New Job

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When starting a new job, you might join a company that has a formal induction or onboarding programme. However, not all companies do this, and you may find yourself having to figure things out yourself. This can be daunting when you are trying to settle into somewhere new and learn a new role, as well as get to the know the people you are working with. The quality of onboarding experiences also varies according to a few factors. This includes the company, your manager and whether there are departments like HR who manage the onboarding process. Regardless of whether the company you join has an onboarding process or not, there are things you can do in the first few days, weeks and months of you new job that will get you off to a flying start. Make sure you are ticking off these things when starting a new job:

  1. Before joining

You will have done a lot of preparation during your interview to get you the job, and some of this is likely to have involved company research. When starting a new job, go back to these notes and the company website to re-familiarise yourself with this information, especially if it has been a while since your interview. Make sure you refresh your knowledge on the company’s products/services, purpose, mission, values and who is on the leadership team. If you have been sent any information on the team and department you are joining, read through this too. If they haven't sent you anything, try asking for it beforehand. This research is important because you will have conversations from the start with existing employees. It may involve company jargon and assumed knowledge on your part. Although you will probably be cut some slack as a new joiner, being clued up will ensure you give a great first impression.

  1. During your first week

The first week is a great time to start building a relationship with your manager. This is one of the most important relationships you will have at work. If they haven’t suggested it already, ask to meet with your manager every day for the first week. Don’t think that this is going overboard, because during your first week you are likely to have a lot of questions. Also ask them to introduce you to your core team members. This is also a good time to come up with a 90-day plan with objectives for the first few months. This can include training, meeting people, learning and shadowing, as well as starting to complete tasks. Creating this plan can be a good basis for discussion in your meetings with your manager.

  1. During your first month

Start working on that 90-day plan! Get to know your role really well by asking loads of questions. It's expected of you during this period so be curious. After the first week, you could reduce your meetings with your manager to once or twice a week. However if you are working virtually, it might be more valuable for both of you to continue meeting daily for the first month, since there is less interaction overall. Set up one-to-one meetings with your core team members and anyone else you know you will be working closely with. Starting to build relationships at this stage will mean that when you start working together, you will already have formed a connection. This can also be achieved by going for lunch (or virtual coffees) with colleagues. Make sure you know the company, department and team objectives, as well as your own and how they all feed into each other. This month is a good time to also complete any initial training you have been set. Try to get a quick win by helping someone out or contributing something to a meeting. Finally, use any spare time you have to read up more on the company intranet or internal communications they send like newsletters. These steps may be integrated into your onboarding process already, but if they’re not, definitely implement them. Once you’ve laid these foundations, you can follow your 90-day plan and focus on performing in your role. Keep building those relationships even after the 90-days, and set aside time for learning as part of your regular routine.

If you are ready to take your career outside the lab and want to know how to start, watch our webinar on How Science Graduates Can Get a High Paying Job Outside the Lab Even if You Have Little to No Work Experience.

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