Getting the Most Out of Your Onboarding Process

Joe Weinlick
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Transitioning into your new role at a new company can be challenging. The onboarding process helps to familiarize you with the company and bring you up to speed. It also sets the tone for the future. During this pivotal point in your career, it's easy to get overwhelmed. The onboarding process only happens once, so it's important to make the most out of it. Here are some tips to help you maximize your early experiences.

Before you even go in for the first interview, you should be very familiar with the company. If you haven't thoroughly researched the brand's history, products or services, corporate culture, and upper management, you're already behind. A significant amount of the onboarding process is going to involve these topics, so doing some preliminary research puts you immediately ahead of the curve. New hires tend to feel lost for the first few days, and that's normal, but going out of your way to inform yourself in advance really shows character.

It should go without saying, but one of the most common mistakes that new hires make during the onboarding process is not paying attention during orientation. Have a pen and paper in front of you, and take notes. You don't want to be the person asking questions ten minutes after the presentation. Don't be afraid to ask questions or request examples. You're better off wasting a little bit of time during the job orientation than having to ask questions in the middle of the workday. Communication is the key to healthy work relationships, and you can be sure that the seasoned employees will appreciate your commitment to fast improvement.

During the onboarding process, try to absorb information from as many people as possible. Established employees often have their own unique ways of doing things, and getting a broad perspective is going to empower you to catch up to their level quicker. If you're not quite sure about something, talk to upper management. It's always a good idea to take initiative during the onboarding process. It establishes you as a go-getter, and shows that you truly care about your new position.

Before your first day, call your hiring manager, and make a list of everything you need. You don't want to show up empty-handed, only to find that your laptop or tablet is an essential item or that you were supposed to set up an account in advance. While most companies do provide the supplies you need, there's nothing wrong with checking in to make sure you're fully prepared right from the start. Nobody will ever be upset that you're overly prepared for the onboarding process, so when in doubt, go the extra mile.

The fact that you got hired means you're most likely well-versed in the industry. At the same time, it never hurts to brush up before you go in for the onboarding process. Spend some time refreshing your knowledge and skills so you're sharp as a tack for the first day. You'll feel more confident, and your new co-workers will be grateful, too. Acclimating to a new company is a group effort, so do your part.

Photo courtesy of Invoke Selling at


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