Recent Grads: 19 Great Tips for Your First Month at a New Job

Last Updated Sep 23, 2011 1:11 PM EDT

11. Be Friendly If you want to make yourself indispensable, putting a face to your emails is important. "People need to know who you are quickly," says management psychologist Karissa Thacker, Ph.D. "Take initiative and introduce yourself to three people every day. Eat in the cafeteria or where people gather."

12. Bribe People Nope, not with money -- but you can gain a lot of favor through cupcakes or donuts. "Buy a box of Dunkin Munchkins for your desk. This less than $10 investment will win you lots of new friends who 'come over to meet you,' similar to how your kids want to 'meet the neighbors' who are giving them candy on Halloween," says recruiter Abby Kohut.

13. Give Your Boss What She Wants... For instance, how does she like to communicate? "Some people still like the phone and many bosses prefer face to face until they get comfortable with you," says Thacker.

14. ...And Avoid Doing What She Hates For some bosses, this might mean creating extensive memos when you're proposing an idea. Others might prefer to brainstorm over coffee. If you keep your ears and eyes open, you'll figure out the preferred protocol quickly.

15. Scout Out After-Work Events After long days learning (and even packing homework for later), the last thing you might want to do is head to Happy Hour. But it's crucial, says Rich DeMatteo, Co-Founder of Bad Rhino, a social media marketing firm, and blogger at Corn on the Job. "Avoiding too many events when you first start could have others thinking you either don't like them or simply don't want to get involved," says DeMatteo. If you're not invited or your team doesn't seem to socialize much, consider planning your own small after-work event.

16. Stay Focused on Today Yes, you want to consider your future, where you fit in at the company, and what your next move will be. But make sure you don't lose track of what is in front of you each day. In other words: "Don't be so focused on the big picture or the next job that you forget to do your current one well," says Clinical Professor John Millikin of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

17. Say Thanks It takes a village for anyone to learn to do their job well, so be sure to show gratitude. "At the end of your first month, set aside a moment to hand-write a quick thank-you note to each person who has made a difference in your transition," says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. "It's a wonderful way to show gratitude and to be remembered by your new coworkers as a considerate person."

18. Don't Take Time Off Your first days and weeks at a new job are not the time to take a personal day, let alone a two-week trip to New Zealand. "If the boss thinks you are not committed, then that is the impression you will create in the first month," says career coach David Couper. "If you had time away planned it's better to start your new job after you return."

19. Do Great Work All these little tricks and tips will help you, but the most important thing is to do a fantastic job. "When possible, try to deliver 101 percent on every new task you are assigned. Get a project done a little early, go the extra mile, and anticipate a need that your boss didn't think of, etc.," says J.T. O'Donnell, CEO of CareerHMO.com. The result: "When we go slightly above and beyond, we show we want to be a strong contributor without looking like a brown-noser."

What are your best tips for young grads at a new job? Please share in the comments below.
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