/ Asked by Kelly
I just got hired yesterday! Whoop!!! (took me 3 months) I start in two weeks. This is my first "real" job. How I should prepare? Also, are there any good questions I should ask my managers during my first few weeks to make a good impression? Also, any suggestions on being a standout employee in my first few months?
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, July 10, 2015
Congratulations!  Much of what you can do to stand out will depend largely on the culture of the company to which you were hired.  In general, however, clearly displaying a willingness to learn is critical in your first few weeks.  Frequently ask questions to your boss and your peers about what you need to do to be successful in that company.  You will likely get different answers and different perspectives.  Seek out those in your company who are influencers and ask them similar questions.  Also, seek out a mentor at the company who can serve as a sounding board for you on all work related matters.  Also, if you have the opportunity to participate on projects, try to assume a leadership position.  You do not need to be the project manager or leader to do this.  When project work needs to be done, show your willingness to take it on, especially that work that nobody else seems to want to do.  As time goes on, doing these things will help you to build your personal brand with your company and will position you well for the next opportunity there.
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Tuesday, July 14, 2015
First off congratulations! You should not down play your offer due to the fact that it took three months. It is still a great accomplishment that you should be proud of! When considering how you should prepare, you should first research the company before you start so you can have a better idea of who you will be representing and working for. Once you start working, you should observe your peers as it pertains to their company culture, their work ethic, and dress code. By learning and observing how the company dresses, it will ensure that your first impression will not be negatively influenced by what you are wearing that day. During your first few weeks, everyone at the company will understand you are adapting to their company climate and learning the ropes. I would make sure that you ask any questions you may have to your peers, a mentor if you have one and managers (if you get a chance) to minimize the likely hood of getting confused or lost in the amount of new information you are about to receive. Asking these questions will show your peers that you are taking the initiative to seek out necessary information to learn about your new position. Additionally, you should aim to take lead on any projects that you may work on. This will convey to your managers your strong work ethic, your ability to take initiative and lead people. Lastly, be proud and enjoy what you do at your company, this will make a lasting impression and impact.
Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on Friday, July 17, 2015
Congratulations! The market is tight so you should be proud of yourself that you received an offer in 3 months! Your excitement is showing through in your questions and that is a good first start to any job. Companies look for enthusiastic employees who are motivated to learn and develop themselves. Some companies provide you with company/department information as part of their onboarding process. If you haven't received any information, you can always reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager and ask them if there is anything you should know/do before your first day so that you can hit the ground running on your first day. Important things are to make sure you have the right attire for the workplace, and are aware of the expectations of the role you were hired into. Make sure you have meetings set up with your manager on a consistent basis to make sure you are on the same page and you can express interest in wanting to develop yourself and learn new tasks. A strong work ethic and being a team player go a long way and you can ensure you come across with those traits by being in the office when you should be, and offering to help out your manager and/or the rest of your team. Good luck!
Answered by Meredith, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Friday, July 24, 2015
Congratulations on your first role!  I always advise candidates to ask their hiring managers what the goals will be for the first 30 days of your role and then what you should expect for the first 3 months.  This will trigger your manager to chat about training (how long it will take, what software you need to learn/use, etc.) and also sets immediate expectations.  Chances are you will receive a 6 month or yearly performance review.  In light of the official reviews being so infrequent, it is best to build a great proactive relationship with your manager from day one. 
Ask questions, but also be as autonomous as you can.  Showing initiative and thinking about how you can anticipate your supervisor's needs will take you far.  If they are very busy and not physically present in the department often, take initiative to ask if you can have 10 mins of their time every week to catch them up on what you've been working on.  This will not only keep your supervisor abreast of your timeline for projects, but you'll craft a great personal relationship with them as well.
Regarding dress code and office culture, be sure to observe and take note of this.  Always dress for the job you want, not the one you have! 
It sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised- always be on time!  Alert your manager if there is an issue and you are running late.  Make sure you do not have tardiness issues often, that is a red flag and often leads to awkward conversations or termination.
Hard work does indeed pay off and there will be great promotions in store for you down the line if you stay conscious of your contributions.
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