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17 Smart Things To Do In Your First Week At A New Job

Bring a sweater and use a simple trick to remember your new coworker's names.

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1. Draw a map of the desks that surround yours, and add the name of who sits at each desk.

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Do this in the back of a notebook and update each time you meet someone new or find out where a certain person sits. Not only will this help you remember names, it will be a lifesaver the first time you need to meet someone at their desk or give someone something.

2. Carry cash with you in case there's an office coffee run or lunch order.

Sure, Venmo exists, but it's a lot easier to hand a new coworker a few dollars if they offer to grab you a coffee then awkwardly ask for their details to make a transfer.
Yamtono_Sardi / Getty Images

Sure, Venmo exists, but it's a lot easier to hand a new coworker a few dollars if they offer to grab you a coffee then awkwardly ask for their details to make a transfer.

3. And pack your lunch for the first few days, or at least have some snacks with you.

If you know that there will be cafés or takeaway spots close to your office, this might not be totally necessary, but if you're unsure, it's best to bring something along so you don't starve.
@startingwiththemirror / Via instagram.com

If you know that there will be cafés or takeaway spots close to your office, this might not be totally necessary, but if you're unsure, it's best to bring something along so you don't starve.

4. During your first week, start setting up your email folders.

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If you're in a job that relies heavily on email and organization, it's best to get a head start on this during your first week. It's easier to reorganize folders than to start organizing from scratch after a month or two.

5. Take a notebook and pen to every single meeting, no exceptions.

Even if you don't think it's going to be an actual meeting — just a quick chat — take something to write on. First, it makes you look prepared, and second, even in the quickest, chattiest of chats, there's almost always something that needs to be remembered.
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Even if you don't think it's going to be an actual meeting — just a quick chat — take something to write on. First, it makes you look prepared, and second, even in the quickest, chattiest of chats, there's almost always something that needs to be remembered.

6. Hold on to your job description, or take clear notes when your manager is first explaining your responsibilities.

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Having it on hand makes it easy to update your LinkedIn and resume at a later date. If you don't do this, you'll be kicking yourself later, trying to summarize your job.

7. Wear layers, or take a sweater with you on your first day.

Air conditioning is wild, especially in offices. On your first day, prepare for an office that could be too hot or too cold by wearing layers, or bringing something you can put on if you start freezing.
Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

Air conditioning is wild, especially in offices. On your first day, prepare for an office that could be too hot or too cold by wearing layers, or bringing something you can put on if you start freezing.

8. Start taking note of your successes from day one, so you're totally prepared for your first performance review.

When it comes to review time, it's usually easy to remember any wins you've had in the last few weeks, but what's a little harder to recall are the accomplishments you've made in the last six months to a year. Open a Google doc or make a page in your journal dedicated to recording significant numbers or targets you hit.
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When it comes to review time, it's usually easy to remember any wins you've had in the last few weeks, but what's a little harder to recall are the accomplishments you've made in the last six months to a year. Open a Google doc or make a page in your journal dedicated to recording significant numbers or targets you hit.

9. Follow the advice senior team members give you and then share your results with them — even if it's something simple like trying a coffee shop.

People love to know that their advice was appreciated, and the best way to show someone that you thought their tip was helpful is to actually follow it, then let them know. It might be a salad spot, coffee place, snack from the cafeteria, or something more work-related — but this is a great way to strike up a conversation with a new team member.
@foodwithlo / Via instagram.com

People love to know that their advice was appreciated, and the best way to show someone that you thought their tip was helpful is to actually follow it, then let them know. It might be a salad spot, coffee place, snack from the cafeteria, or something more work-related — but this is a great way to strike up a conversation with a new team member.

10. Try and find out how long your coworkers have each worked for the company.

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Getting to know your colleagues work history within the company you've just joined can open your eyes to different career paths and help you understand any invisible office hierarchy that may exist.

11. Be wary of the person who makes a special effort to get you up to speed with the office politics and gossip.

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Spoiler: They're normally the people right in the middle of the drama, and if they're telling you — a total stranger — other people's secrets, you can be assured they're telling other people yours.

12. Be sure to mention any upcoming trips you have booked at the first oppurtunity.

Even if a friend's wedding is six months away, the first week is a great time to mention any time off you need in the future. Even if your manager doesn't take note, it's always nicer to say "I mentioned this when I started" than pull a holiday request out of the blue after a few months on the job.
Gyan Yankovich

Even if a friend's wedding is six months away, the first week is a great time to mention any time off you need in the future. Even if your manager doesn't take note, it's always nicer to say "I mentioned this when I started" than pull a holiday request out of the blue after a few months on the job.

13. Check if your organization's website has photos and names of any staff listed.

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On your first day, this may help you recognize any senior management who you haven't met yet and help you put a face to the name of other important people within the company.

14. If you're stuck on something, see if there's a non-human resource that can help you solve it before you ask someone.

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It's a smart idea to save your IRL requests for when you're really stuck on something.

15. Always say "yes" if someone offers to help you with something.

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I came across this advice in a blog by Ask a Manager's Alison Green. In it she writes: "Even if you don’t think you need the help, accept assistance anyway. If nothing else, you’ll begin forming bonds, but you’ll also probably gain useful information. Keep in mind that you don’t know what you might not know!"

16. If a coworker invites you to something, go.

Of course, there are many exceptions to this one BUT if someone in your office asks if you'd like to join the group at a happy hour — and you loved happy hour at your old job — you should go, even if the conversation is a little slow at the start.
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Of course, there are many exceptions to this one BUT if someone in your office asks if you'd like to join the group at a happy hour — and you loved happy hour at your old job — you should go, even if the conversation is a little slow at the start.

17. And finally, remember that the first week at a new job is often the most challenging and that things will settle down once you find your feet.

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If everything feels confusing, it won't forever. If the people don't seem as awesome as the ones you left behind at your old company, give them some time. And if the food around sucks, well, it's cheaper to pack your lunch anyway. Good luck out there.

H/T Reddit Life Pro Tips and AskReddit.