three key questions to ask in your first week of work

It’s done. You have received your offer letter after researching several job opportunities, celebrated your success and are ready to join the new organization. But don’t let the celebration cause you to lose your focus. While a new job is both exciting and exhilarating, it can be overwhelming as well. If you have a few days to start on the new job, use them to your advantage. Take the time to prepare, plan your familial or other personal responsibilities and get everything in order - before you turn your focus to work. Remember that during the interview and selection process, both you and the hiring team have put your best foot forward. It’s only after you join a new company that you get to understand and truly appreciate the company, its culture, and its business.

As an employee, you have expectations of the role you are hired to play and the growth that this job is likely to offer in your career progression. The first day, and in fact, the first week is crucial. Employers expect new hires to have a lot of questions on their first few days at the new job. Take advantage of this fresh start to seek out advice on you how to effectively perform in your role. By gaining insights into the role, the company, peers, seniors, and the processes, you will set yourself up for success. Make the most of your first week at the workplace by asking these three critical questions that will help you get the lay of the land.

How can my work make an impact on the company?

This might sound like a loaded question. But asking how you can make an impact on the company will help you in two distinct ways – add value to your role and impress upon your peers that you mean business.  Pose this question to your colleagues, your seniors and most importantly, your boss. You will be surprised to find that the answers you get are important to guiding you in tackling your new job, adding value to what you do, and also help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls.

What are some of the challenges the team is facing today?

The answers to this question will give you a clear idea about what to expect early on and the challenges you will be faced with along with the team. It also gives you the opportunity to provide a fresh perspective to tackling some niggling challenges. But be sure not to offer suggestions impulsively as it may be construed negatively. As a new joiner, you are not expected to solve challenges but take this opportunity to communicate that you are a team player.

What are the organization’s goals and objectives?

This is perhaps not a question directly asked but the answer can be derived from a set of questions you can ask. Ask about the history of the company, its growth, mission and vision statements and past performance. You may have asked this question before or during your interview. However, it’s a good idea to reaffirm your understanding of the organization’s goals and objectives when you start work. So why is this question important? What the organization is and where is it headed will help you understand where your role fits in and what expectations you should set for yourself and your future jobs.

A successful career at any company begins and ends with the alignment of the individual with the processes, the people, and the organization itself. The first few days in the organization will set the tone for your years ahead and hence is the best time to seek answers to all unanswered questions and lay doubts to rest.
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