Tips in a New Job?

I’m not sure if I mentioned it yet, but I recently started a new job. So, that will probably be on my mind a little over the next number of posts. I am working as a Major Gifts Officer at a local hospital and am managing a portfolio of donors as well as launching a capital campaign. I thought I’d write this post to offer some tips and ideas I’ve tried when starting my new job and to hear some new ones from you. Here are a few things I’ve tried or wish I’d tried my first few weeks on the job.

  • Temper my ambition my first week on the job. I’ve found that if I’m too gung-ho that it can frustrate my boss and co-workers. I try to relax and educate myself to the environment and get a feel for expectations.
  • Ask co-workers the tactical & logistics questions. This frees up your boss for the strategic and hard to answer questions. Co-workers can help you discover how the office works and the expectations of your team and your boss.
  • Try to figure it out on your own first. Try to answer the easy questions with simple research and reading. In the least, you can use that reading to inform how you ask questions to the rest of the organization.
  • Figure out what kinds of things are considered extra credit and expectations. Does everyone go out to lunch regularly? Is there an organizational meeting you could attend that would be really valuable but isn’t expected?
  • Take time to talk to everyone on your immediate team. Those initial first impressions are huge. Many of your co-workers make a decision about you in your first few days of work. People like you more if you’ve taken some time to get to know them. I often will make sure I say good morning to everyone in the office by walking around or doing a coffee run.
  • Take time to get a tour of the organization and understand the client experience. What does your nonprofit do? Make sure in your first few weeks you have a chance to have some of those experiences first-hand. Maybe it makes sense to set up a couple of meetings with clients and get their perspective.

Those are only a few small things. I’d love to hear any tips from you on being successful in your first couple of months on the job. What do you think? What is your advice?


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