A couple of my clients recently landed new jobs, so I posted 10 questions to ask your manager on Forbes to help them (and all my readers of course) prepare for their new roles. However, starting a new job also requires introspection and personal preparation. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself when starting a new job:
1 – Why did I take this job?
Remind yourself of your primary objectives because in the busyness of your new role it’s easy to forget.
2 – What are my priorities for: first week, first month, first quarter, first year?
Just as you’ll want to understand the deadlines and timelines of your work assignments, you also want to set deadlines and timelines for your personal goals. When you start something new, your personal priorities should align quite closely and almost exactly to your manager’s priorities. But it’s always helpful to affirm these.
3 – What am I willing to do differently?
You took a different job for a reason. Remember what you’d like to change before you fall back on old habits.
4 – What can I drop or delegate outside of my job?
A new job is always busier. You are always less efficient and less effective because you’re new – processes are different, colleagues are different, the environment feels different. Give yourself extra time and energy by dropping or delegating some of your outside activities. You can always come back to your regular schedule when your work schedule feels more regular.
5 – What can I add outside of my job?
Err on the cautious side of not taking on too much, but some people do better when they stack good habits on top of each other. A new job can be the perfect trigger to treat yourself or make lifestyle changes you have been planning to make. While you’re building out your new work schedule, build it around healthier lunches, an early morning fitness class or an after-work hobby.
6 – How can I get to know my boss?
Invest time early in getting to know your boss – both the professional stuff, like how they like to communicate, how frequently and in what style, but also the personal stuff, what they like and dislike, their personal goals. Pay closer attention. Be curious and ask questions. Try to have lunch or intersperse more casual dialogues in-between business.
7 – How can I get to know my colleagues?
In addition to your boss, you’re going to want colleagues, both socially and professionally. Do you enjoy walking around the office? Will you invite people to lunch? Do you want to keep a candy jar on your desk at least initially to entice people to come to you?
8 – What training or support do I need?
Even if it’s a role that you’re familiar with, there will be new processes, systems, and nuances that won’t carry over from previous jobs. Is there a point person who can help you? Is there training you can sign up for? Are there skills you have to work on outside the workday to get up to speed?
9 – How am I feeling?
Yes, a new job will feel harder but it still should be enjoyable. Check in with yourself to ensure you’re happy with how things are going so you can course-correct sooner than later.
10 – Who do I need to send a thank you?
Regardless of how alone you felt on your job search, I’m sure someone helped you. Even if you applied to this job directly and only interacted with people at this company, you can still send a thank you to HR and the people you met during the interview process. You can still send a thank you to people who helped you with other jobs you didn’t get or accept. You can also thank friends and family who didn’t help on your search but kept you sane while you looked!