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Tried and Proven Tips for a Successful Job Start

It's official, you got the job. Congratulations! Allow yourself a moment of reveling in all the opportunities that are now lying ahead of you, you deserve it.

But wait - before you dream of your next promotion, there is something you will have to jump over one more hurdle: getting through those first days and weeks. So what can you do to make sure you'll navigate those cliffs just as expertly as you aced that interview?

Preparedness is your best friend now. So set aside a few hours to prepare yourself beyond taking your suit to the cleaner's. We asked top employers & recruiters for their recommendations for a successful job start.

Most importantly, find out everything you can about your new company, the key players, and the people who you will be working with. Some information, such as a new supervisor's professional background, or in-depth data on the company and industry, is easy to locate on the Internet, in libraries, in newspaper articles, in the company's Annual Reports, or through your professional network. For other facts, you may have to resort to more creative tactics. Do you know someone at the company who knows your new supervisor's management style, or do you remember seeing the company's name in a social context such as sponsorship or charity events? If you can demonstrate you've done more than your homework, you will score big.

When interacting with new coworkers and supervisors, watch for cues how others act. Is the tone lighthearted or more formal? Is there an open door policy in place? Are you supposed to get your information proactively, or is there someone who will talk you under his or her wings and walk you through your new job step-by-step, rule-by-rule, form by form? Is the climate social or reserved? Observe and try your bet to fit in while being genuine.

Don't be reserved when others approach you, make sure you appear accessible and friendly but be careful not to volunteer too much personal information right on Day 1. At the same time, don't hesitate to approach your new coworkers with a warm smile and a handshake, introducing yourself with your full name and function, and a nicely phrased request for help and patience whenever necessary. Regardless of your list of impressive credentials and accomplishments, a little humility goes a very long way. Most people really enjoy helping a newcomer settle in, especially if the new person seems eager to listen and to learn. But don't expect to be part of the inner circle early on - wanting too much too soon can backfire badly. Refraining from participating in gossip and trying to elicit information on people's negative traits is obvious and needn't be stated.

Be willing to spend a little extra time at your workplace to make up for the lack of productivity in the beginning. Nothing is more off-putting than a newcomer who wants to be out of the door at the stroke of the appointed hour. Of course you still have a personal life but try putting some of it on the backburner until you're reasonably comfortable doing your new job - not only will do yourself a favor by allowing extra time to read through previous correspondence, conduct research on the subject at hand, or collect all the facts, but it will demonstrate your commitment to your career, not a paycheck.

You will make mistakes initially, and nobody expects you to be perfect and to know everything the first week. Remember that honesty is your best policy: if something goes wrong, don't resort to excuses but take responsibility and look for ways to amend the situation. At the same time, set yourself ambitious but realistic goals and evaluate your progress (or the lack thereof) often. If needed, reach out and ask for more help or better tools - most employers are very willing to give you some help and guidance.

With these tips in mind, you are bound to impress your new supervisor as well as your co-workers, and settle in rapidly and successfully. And now go and take that suit to the cleaner's - and good luck!

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