I have this theory…
That time flies when you’re having fun…working your butt off.
I got a calendar invite this week for a “30-day check-in” meeting and I thought, oh, which client is this for? And then I saw that it was just me on the invite. And then I realized that I am the 30-day check-in. Which means that I have officially been working at my new job for a whole month. What. the. eff.
Slam on the brakes, because a few days ago at a 4th of July barbecue I was literally walking around telling people I started my job two weeks ago. Whoops. Guess my sense of time got lost somewhere between my first day when I was finding the coffeemaker to today when I was taking the lead on a new project without a second thought.
How to absolutely kill it in your first month on the job:
1. Do extra research on your own time to get a better sense of what you’re doing.
I work in PR, and a lot of my clients are technology clients, which means I’m promoting companies that do things like hyperconverged cloud infrastructure and endpoint cybersecurity. I am not a software engineer or an IT professional and had no idea what these things were. This was not like beauty PR, when I was promoting things like mascara, which I wear every day of my life. This was serious deep tech stuff. So to get over the learning curve, I got Googly and did as much as I could to get up to speed on my clients.
If you feel behind, don’t wait for your coworkers to catch you up. Get a head start by understanding as much as you can before you even walk into your first meeting.
2. Don’t be afraid to start contributing.
In the past, at my internships, I was terrified of looking stupid. I didn’t think I knew enough to be able to raise my hand, so I always stayed silent during meetings. But the real stupidity is in never speaking up, because you don’t learn anything if you don’t try. So volunteer to take a whack at that writing project. Pitch an idea at the brainstorm. It will definitely be appreciated and you’ll start learning faster.
What’s the worst thing that could happen? You volunteer an idea and someone tells you why it wouldn’t work? Great, then you’ve learned why it wouldn’t work, and you have more knowledge for next time, and you at least look engaged and thoughtful. If you don’t make mistakes now, you’ll just make them later on. Put yourself out there and speak up!
3. Notice the ways you can make everyone’s lives easier.
Stay in tune with what’s on everyone’s plate. If they look like they’re swamped and you have extra time, offer to handle something for them. It’s the nice thing to do and the best way to support your team. Plus, sometimes it’s a good chance to jump in on responsibilities that you wouldn’t normally have gotten.
4. Do allllll the things.
By things, I mean happy hour, volunteer days, parties, client events, networking, conferences, book club, game night, everything. The more face time you get with everyone in the office, the more it will start to feel like home. This is why I think I was so surprised that 30 days had already gone by– my work fam already feels like my work fam, and that wouldn’t have happened without the time I’ve already spent with them. Embrace the office kitchen! Take a teammate out to coffee! Do all the things!
5. Be patient.
This is probably the hardest one, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to hit the ground running and be Superwoman the second you start. And it’s definitely important to communicate with your manager about what the expectations are for your progress in the role. But know that it’s okay to not know what you’re doing. It will take time to get settled and get going on the meatier projects, so just relax, do your best at everything you’re given, and you’ll be celebrating a successful first month before you know it!