No matter how much experience you have on the job market, starting a new job can be stressful because so many changes happen all at once. You may face new responsibilities and a completely different management style. Moreover, you may feel like an outsider until you get to know your coworkers. Discussions about duties, salary, benefits, and schedule can also be stressful because they require strong negotiation skills.
Are you starting a new job? From legal to social aspects, there’s a lot to consider. Here are three tips for an easy transition.
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When in Doubt, Ask Questions
When starting a new job, some people do not ask enough questions. Instead, they make assumptions based on their previous experience. This mistake can have frustrating consequences. Getting all the facts is essential, so whenever you’re in doubt about something, ask as many questions as needed to clarify things.
If you have any doubts about your salary, benefits, the hours you are expected to work, or your responsibilities, ask the HR representative or the manager. Are you not getting clear answers? This could be a red flag, so proceed with caution.
Take Time with the Paperwork
No matter how enthusiastic you are about your new position, salary, or company, don’t rush through the paperwork. Take your time to read your employment contract carefully and think about all the terms and their present and future implications. The contract should protect your interests just as much as the company. All the terms should be clear and specific, outlining every party’s responsibilities and rights.
Some employers require new hires to sign a non-compete agreement and thus make a legally-binding promise to avoid working for a competitor in the future or use their knowledge about the company to the benefit of the competition. Although a non-compete agreement may seem reasonable, it can severely restrict future work opportunities in your chosen industry.
Are you in California? Non-compete agreements are illegal in the state, so pay attention to what your employer wants you to sign. If you have any concerns, speak to a Los Angeles lawyer with plenty of experience reviewing employment contracts.
Learn as Much as Possible About the Work Culture
Every company has a unique work culture, from management practices to how employees communicate or split responsibilities. Adapting to a new work culture can take a while, but you can speed up the process. A great way to get valuable insights is to start conversations about your role with the manager, supervisor, or coworkers.
You can learn a lot about the new workplace simply through the power of observation. How is the atmosphere in the company: formal or casual? Does the manager seem very strict about your duties? Do you get a lot of freedom of choice? Observing the company culture will give many clues about how to make a great impression and fit in.
Getting a new job can be the ideal way to achieve your professional or financial goals, but the transition period is often overwhelming. It can take a while for things to fall into place, so follow our tips for a smooth experience.