by Robert McCaffrey

These days it is challenging to navigate the exciting, and at times intimidating process of onboarding within a new company. Each company is going to have a different approach to how they onboard employees, whether remote or on-site. No matter how a company orchestrates the onboarding process, it is key to your long-term success to make a positive first impression. To ensure that you are successful in your new life sciences job and comfortable working in your new environment, take time to think about what kind of impact you would like to make within your first week, month, and beyond. 

Making a good first impression 

First impressions go a long way. As you meet new people within your company, be prepared to introduce yourself with confidence and enthusiasm. You want to tailor your introduction to your new company culture, while being true to yourself and memorable to your new colleagues. For example, if you’re working in a more reserved environment you would greet people with a handshake, then let them know a bit about yourself and why you’re looking forward to working with them. In other organizations they may welcome you to the team with icebreaker meetings or a team lunch. 

Timing can be everything. If there are people that you feel are important to meet, request some time to connect or mention them to your manager. Be sure to remember the interactions you have that spark a potential connection and do your best to remember names. This is an opportunity to start building relationships and your network within the company. There is long term value in making connections, friends and seeking out mentors within your new role right from the start.

Asking questions

It is key to do your research about the company as well and ask plenty of questions within your first few weeks. Prioritize those questions and be ready to write them down as they occur to you. Take the initiative to seek out answers from the right people and do your best to answer some on your own. Learn what preferences people have as far as how they respond to your questions, whether verbal or through email. Do what you can to create a consistent dialogue to help get the right answers in an efficient way.

Communicating and finding a balance 

It is also important to communicate with your manager early on to define what success looks like within your new role. Work with them to gain an understanding of how your performance will be measured and how you will work together to achieve your goals. Have a transparent conversation about your strengths and weaknesses and where you foresee there being challenges ahead. Communication and transparency will help establish a good rapport with your manager and contribute to your long-term success.

From the minute you start in your new role you will likely challenge yourself, have an opportunity to step up when called upon, and put in some extra hours throughout the week while you’re acclimating to your new environment. It is important to be willing to go the extra mile early on, as it leads to becoming a team player and ensuring success within your new role. That being said, avoid compromising time that you value in and outside of work, and do everything you can to maintain a healthy work-life balance. You can still go above and beyond while keeping your limits in mind.

Embodying your core values

Lastly, as you begin your new role be sure to keep in mind what core values define your company’s culture and mission. If you have accepted a new role within a company, it is likely you embody a similar vision and values as your leadership and colleagues. This will underscore your success as you embark upon your new journey.  

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