Maximizing the first month of a new position is crucial in setting yourself up for success, and even more challenging while trying to put your best foot forward virtually. While your manager or HR team may have a 30-60-90-day plan in place for you, outlining specific goals for your first three months on the job, it's your responsibility to take initiative and strategize ways to ensure you’re hitting appropriate milestones.
Fortunately, LaSalle Network is here to help. Our recruiters and leadership are not only experts in pairing professionals with opportunities they are best suited for, but also in helping set these professionals up for success as they enter their new role. Below is our advice to help prepare remote workers for the first 30 days on the job.
Read Part II of this series, How to Stand Out in the First 90 Days of a Remote Job, here.
Before Day 1
Celebrate! Your hard work has paid off and you have a new job secured. Announce this exciting job change by updating your LinkedIn profile and posting about the new role you’ll be starting. Connect with team members and managers on LinkedIn as well.
Set up a dedicated workspace. While it may be tempting to float from your couch to your kitchen table and back again, it is crucial to set up a dedicated space that is removed from loud noises or distractions. Having a space that is well-equipped with appropriate technology, internet access, lighting, supplies like a notepad and pens and other resources will help maximize your productivity and keep you focused on the work at hand.
Come in with a strong baseline knowledge. Heavy meeting and training days introducing new concepts can be exhausting, especially while getting used to virtual training. Even if you already researched the company during interviews process, review your notes, revisit the company's social media to see what’s happened since your interview, and update yourself on current industry trends. Ensure you know leadership faces and names, either by referencing the company website or looking at their employees via LinkedIn.
Connect with HR. They can help ensure you have what you need to be productive and work efficiently including technology, handbooks and any materials that would be helpful to read prior to starting. While talking with HR, make sure to:
- Request appropriate IT gear like monitors, a mouse, headset, etc.
- Ask if there is certain software you should download like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other company preferred applications.
- Ask if they have professional virtual backgrounds you should be using on video calls and a schedule of meetings you'll be required to attend.
- Ask if there is a virtual handbook or any other training material that you should read ahead of time.
Do a test run. Try out your tech set up to ensure everything works, you have software appropriately downloaded and updated, and you have all the proper links and login information you’ll be needing on day one. Test your video conferencing platform with a friend to make sure your sound works and your space looks good visually.
Dress to impress. How you present yourself matters, even virtually. Prepare your outfit for day one ahead of time, following what the dress code was when employees were in the office. Don’t assume that working from home means casual attire is appropriate on video calls.
Master your morning routine. While you don’t need to practice your commute, you should definitely practice your morning routine one to two days before your start date. Get up at the hour you would for work and get ready as you would. Turn on your computer and test your equipment as if it was day 1 on the job.
Day 1 to 30:
Your first 30 days on the job will likely feel like drinking from a firehose. Keeping yourself mentally and physically energized during this time is essential in order to absorb as much information as possible.
Create a daily routine and stick to it. It may be tempting while working from home to hit snooze until it's just time to roll out of bed and into your first meeting of the day. Instead, set a strict morning routine including time to care for yourself and clear your mind. This may include working out, reading, meditating, or taking a walk. This ensures that when you log in, you are refreshed and ready to give your best.
Be a sponge. Absorb as much information as possible about the role, company, industry, and people you work with. Learn the company vision. Get off mute and ask questions. Take every possible training opportunity afforded to you, like shadowing meetings to take notes so you can ask questions afterwards. Because you won’t overhear new concepts in passing or be able to turn to your left or right to ask a coworker a question, be proactive to seek out the information you need. Google first to see what you can resolve on your own before reaching out for questions. Set time aside each week to research industry trends and stay on top of current events.
Set communication standards. Ask how to best communicate with managers, trainers, team members and other coworkers. Rather than assuming what works for you works for them, determine preferred communication media and frequency, as well as who to go to with questions.
Personalize your interactions whenever possible. Whenever appropriate, make sure to have your camera on during meetings to show engagement and active listening. Don't wait to be asked for your input, come to meetings prepared to ask questions or share ideas. Make it a point to show appreciation and genuine interest in the person on the other end of every call. Bring your personality, creativity and unique ideas to every interaction.
Bring energy and charisma into your video calls. Center your face in the frame, smile, nod and make eye contact with others on video. Turn off your self-view to focus on others’ faces as they speak. Remember to speak slowly and clearly, accounting for any lag time in the call.
Request regular touchpoints with your manager. Ask for ways you can improve in what you’re doing. Are there any changes in behavior, communication style, follow up, etc., that you can work on? Be receptive to their honest feedback. Make one-on-ones productive by bringing a list of questions or things that need your manager’s attention to talk through live.
Lean on your team. Teammates are typically some of the best resources for understanding the nuances of company dynamics or unspoken expectations. Foster a positive relationship with those both in similar roles and at various levels within the team. If your organization has a mentorship program, take advantage of this opportunity to learn from others who have been successful before you.
Expand your network. Rather than waiting for others to reach out, ask your manager and teammates who else in the organization would be good to get to know. Set up virtual coffees or lunches to speak with more tenured people within the organization and learn what has made them successful in the role. Connect with others who have started within the last year as well. These employees have likely experienced similar challenges and can provide insight into what has helped them grow. Apply the advice they offer to your own work.
Send follow up notes for anyone who trains you. Thanking these people goes a long way, both in making them feel appreciated and in helping form a strong first impression.
Identify your metrics. Clarify with your manager how you will be measured and what your goals are for this first month, as well as for the following months. Being aware of your metrics and progress toward goals can help keep you focused and motivated.
Self-report on your metrics. Even if your manager doesn’t ask for it, send a recap of your day and what you accomplished, including where you’re tracking in your metrics and progress toward goals. Make sure to come to one-on-ones prepared with specific questions and ideas for how to improve.
Update your LinkedIn. Connect with team members, trainers, and anyone else you meet at the company. Update your profile with your professional headshot, new title, responsibilities, and company information.
Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. You’re new and still learning and you are not expected to know everything.
Ask for clarification. Don’t spend hours working on an assignment if you’re not 100% sure of expectations – ask!
To be successful within a new role and organization virtually, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone, especially within the first month. Think of this time as laying the foundation on which you will build your career. By promoting your personal brand and showing dedication to the company and to improving yourself, you will stand out from the masses and progress more quickly than those waiting on the sideline to be called to action.
Read Part II of this series, How to Stand Out in the First 90 Days of a Remote Job here.
Is your team adding more new members? Let us help! Get in contact with us here.