Regardless of your level of preparation, the first few days or weeks in your new job can be full of uncertainties. During the initial days, you may be uncertain about where to do, what to do and even whom to converse with. Not to mention what to do during lunch break. In order to make sure that your first days or weeks go as smoothly as possible in your civil and structural engineering career, you will want to use this guide and get off on the right start.
Get to Know the Team
Before you embark on anything else, it is important to make an effort to know people around the workplace. You will not necessarily become best friends with everyone on the first day, but showing enthusiasm about your work and trying to know your colleagues will go a long way in them welcoming and being open during conversations. So, consider scheduling some time with each of your colleagues during the first several days and figure out more about them. Ask how long they have been in the company, their positions, what they do, and where they have worked in the past. During social events like group lunches and after-work drinks, make the effort to attend if possible. This is an excellent way to feel like part of the team and get to know everyone around you on a more personal level. And although you cannot buy friends, happy hour can be a great way to easily get to know them.
Know Your Limitations
Not even the most experienced people go to a new job knowing all their tasks and responsibilities. As such, it is paramount that you know your strengths and limitations. One thing you do not want is to get to the workplace with too many expectations. You want to be realistic about what you wish to achieve, particularly in the early months. After all, you do not want to set yourself up for failure. If your new employer expects unrealistic results, ensure you address them as soon as possible. Next, you want to be wary about overdoing things. It’s often tempting to volunteer for almost everything in a new job with the aim of making a good impression. Again, you need to be realistic. Take on tasks that you are confident you can perform well and always consult your colleagues if you need assistance. No matter the task, do it to the best of your ability and avoid half measures. This way, your employer will realize the effort you are putting in.
Different companies have varying practices in regard to probationary periods. However, most workplaces utilize these periods to provide additional training and support from mentors and ensure the new team members are up to the task. Also, it is an excellent way to check in on your progress and provide feedback on the first few weeks or months. To some, this might sound intimidating, but it does not have to. So, to prevent the prospect of a huge make or break meeting, ask your employer for catch-ups every now and then to check your progress and what is expected from you. This way, if there are any issues, you will be able to address them before it is too late.
Different workplaces have varying ideas regarding the introduction of new employees to their tasks and responsibilities. However, even if you have an idea of your role due to the work you included in the application and passing the interview, you will not know everything about the induction process until you are officially on the job. Some firms will ease you gently with introduction training and interaction with the operations. Others will create objectives and deadlines from the offset. Regardless of the approach the boss takes, be prepared to be stuck in your job and avoid complaining.
There is a huge difference between complaining and asking for assistance. As much as you would like to hit the ground running, do not expect to be an expert in your position in the first several weeks. So, if you do not know something and feel like you need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. In fact, your boss will take it as a virtue of honesty. Practically, you will be learning something instead!