How to settle into your new charity job

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Getting a new job is such an amazing feeling! But once you take your first step in the door, it’s time to settle in. Finding your feet in a new job can be pretty challenging. You’re having to process a new environment, new culture, new people and new set of tasks to learn. So how can you really make the most effective transition to being comfortable, while producing quality work from day one?

Don’t fret, we are here to help you settle in easily. Here are some useful tips to make your first few months a walk in the park.

Make a great first impression

First impressions are key and it’s often hard to change someone’s mind after it’s made. Did you know that the ‘first impression’ is made in a seven-second window? That means that you need to be ready to impress from the very beginning.

So, dress the part. Make sure, on your first day, you’re dressed slightly more formally than everyone else to make you feel more comfortable (and you can dodge the fear of being underdressed). A good way to judge the dress code before you start is to reflect on what your interviewers were wearing, or have a look at the organisation’s website to see what other employees tend to wear. Additionally, to make a great first impression try to get out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to your team. This is the first step to developing strong and lasting relationships with your colleagues, to help you understand certain things about your new role or the organisation from day one.

Get to grips with your role

Although it might take some time, getting to grips with your role and what it involves, is essential to performing above and beyond expectations. Your written job description is a basic indication of your role and responsibilities. But, you’ll need to be flexible as there’s always space for a role to expand along the way. Start by identifying and prioritising tasks to work out the time you’re often expected to achieve them in. Always work out how your tasks fit in with what your organisation is trying to achieve. You need to understand the structure, processes and individual responsibilities within your team, and identify who you need to make good relationships with both internally and externally.

It’s also important that you create a development plan for your role. This sets you up on a path as to where you want to go while making clear goals and objectives. The additional personal direction can really give you the confidence to keep developing your skills.

Be patient and don’t rush or create goals that are too far out of reach. Take the time to become an expert in your field first. This will allow you to absorb enough information to start performing your job well.

Work hard to prove you were the right pick of the bunch

Sometimes, the first few months of a new job can be stressful as you’re trying to prove yourself (and have the personal pressures of wanting to perform well). This time is the practical extension of the interview process where you are closely watched by your supervisors. Instead of being worried, use this moment as your time to shine.

Don’t sit back and believe that you don’t have to work hard because ‘the new person needs time to settle in’. Be proactive and take any project or task that you’re given beyond what was expected. Think of better ways to do things and communicate them with your team.

Always, always ask questions! There is no such thing as a silly question as it shows your curiosity and interest in your new organisation.  Make sure that you ask for the input of others and ask for assistance if you’re ever uncertain. Their tips will give you the clarity that you need to understand and perform to the best of your ability.

Once you have established that you are the perfect person to do your job, you’ll feel a lot more settled in your role.

Understand company culture

Getting to know your new company’s culture will help you adapt to your new role faster. Ensure you use your first few weeks to really pay attention to what is happening around you. Doing so will help you understand the organisation’s values and how it interacts with clients, employees and the community. In most companies, the organisational culture can be traced back to its origin. Read up on its history, mission statements, and future projects before starting on your first day, so you have a sense of the direction the organisation is heading in.

Also, take the time to research how the organisation develops and implements new ideas and identify who the key decision makers are. After absorbing this key information you’ll feel more comfortable starting your new role while developing a clear sense of direction around how you will integrate into the organisation’s culture.

Create a routine

The first few days of a new job will be rammed with new tasks, processes and responsibilities being handed over to you. Finding your feet will take time, but actively building and managing a routine for your work will definitely help. A routine will help you feel more comfortable in your role, to manage your tasks while giving you a clear sense of direction. It can help to keep the day to day work ticking over, so you feel empowered instead of overwhelmed by the scale of your position and the tasks at hand.

So, don’t sweat about starting your new job! Just take these tips into account and you will have an amazing first few months with the knowledge, preparation, and mindset to thrive.

About Kristiana Varitimos

Marketing Executive at CharityJob. I love travelling, experiencing new things and learning about the ins and outs of marketing.

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