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4 Things Southeast Asians Can Do to Nail Their First Week at a New Job

Got new job jitters? Impress your boss and colleagues with these practical tips

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BY Cristina Morales - 11 May 2017

new job

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Starting at a new job can be plenty stressful and overwhelming—that’s common knowledge, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can go ahead and assume that your new colleagues are going to cut you some slack. Now, more than ever, is a crucial time to bring your A-game and make a good first impression. Here’s what you can do to make sure that you start this new chapter right.

1. Do your homework

Securing a job offer doesn’t mean you can stop learning about your company. Leading up to your first day, read up on the company to better prepare yourself for your new role. “When a new employee comes on board, I expect them to know the core of the business,” says Joshua Garcia, incubator manager of the Palawan International ICT Business Incubator in the Philippines. “I expect them to know how to do their job based on the job description.”

2. Ask the right questions

Doing your research is also important because it helps you ask the relevant questions to get accustomed to your job faster. You also don’t want to keep asking the same questions, so be attentive as well.

“To display interest and initiative, ask good questions and schedule follow-up meetings with folks you will be working with,” says Carmen Feliciano, founder of the cross-border community Startup Southeast Asia and the start-up studio collective Madcap Enterprises. “Your first few weeks is when you get a pass for not knowing things. Ask for metrics you’ll be evaluated with and the expectations of you. And always ask people how you can be of any help.”

3. Observe the team

Take time to see how the rest of the team works so you know how to integrate yourself. “When I start a new job in a new environment, I am always half an hour early so I can observe people’s conduct and habits so that I can learn how to make a good introduction,” says Naqib Noor, business development director of the Singapore-based accelerator 80startups.

If you observe that everyone on the team arrives on time, dresses nicely, and works with very minimal distractions, adjust accordingly. You want to stand out, not stick out like a sore thumb.

4. Be willing to learn

New hires often fall into the trap of trying too hard to appear competent that they let their ego and pride run the show, instead of learning and absorbing new things. “Come in fresh with the willingness to learn even if you have been in the industry for a long time,” Noor adds. “When you show that you want to learn and understand your new environment, people will respect you as a newcomer.”

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