You accepted a job offer, congrats! Go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back. Celebrate with friends and family and be excited for this new opportunity ahead of you. When do you start? Not for two weeks? You’ll have some nice time off to relax and get prepped for your new job.
Yes, I said prepped. One of the biggest mistakes many new hires make right out of the gate when starting a job is ghosting on the recruiter and hiring manager, or the prep work for the job itself. “Ghosting” usually happens when you’re texting that awesome person you met last week at the book swap your bestie dragged you to, and suddenly - poof - they disappear for days, weeks, or forever. But, many new hires, especially ones who are new to the career world, don’t know how to continue the conversation between accepting the offer and starting their first day, or how to get mentally prepared for their new role, essentially ghosting both on the new job and soon-to-be colleagues who just took so much time communicating with them throughout the interview process.
Then there's the new hires who tend to over-communicate with those future colleagues. It’s common to crave the feeling of being involved and associated with your new team and organization as soon as you join, especially when there’s a large time gap between accepting your offer and your first day. But, be sure you're putting the right foot forward and asking questions that will benefit you without becoming a nuance to those who aren't enjoying a 2-week break off from work.
Whether you’re the ghoster or the new hire sending three emails a day, check out these 5 tips for keeping those communication lines warm while playing it cool as you get ready for your new role:
Do Your Homework
Ask your main point of contact (whether it be your new manager, recruiter, interviewer, or whomever) for recommendations on preparing for your position. Being proactive and demonstrating your readiness to dive into some of the research or workload before your first day definitely stands out. And when your contact shares those suggestions or recommendations, send a follow-up note letting them know what you learned and gained from their advice. Don’t fret if you're told there's no need to prep in advance—many companies incorporate an in-depth training program into their new hire orientation, which means you'll be equipped with all of the tools you need to succeed on day one.
Attend an Event
Engage with new colleagues at company events. If they're external and being hosted at your new company, great, but if they're for internal employees only, make sure to ask your contact if you can attend. Or, if you’re a student starting an internship or a new job upon graduation, ask if there will be any on-campus networking events, tech talks, or other information sessions you could attend to meet and interact with new colleagues. You never know what connections you could make, even with people outside of your department or team. Those same people could one day be your collaborators on a big, company-wide project or even your future management team.
Want to know what the office culture is like? Check and see if the company has any social media accounts. For example, HubSpot features their global offices, culture, and career tips on HubSpot Life’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Some companies even create social channels, Slack groups, or email threads for new employees or interns to get the conversation started with their new hire class — take advantage of this space! Not only may it aid you in finding your go-to lunchtime group, it’s also a useful way to stay up to date, ask questions, and chime in on future plans or ideas. For instance, the group’s creator (typically someone involved with employee engagement at the company) may send out a survey that includes a call for ideas or feedback. Set yourself apart by submitting thoughtful responses to these types of requests -- it’s a great opportunity to convey your excitement and eagerness about your new role at the company.
Build Your Brand
Take an hour or two to update your LinkedIn profile so that your past experience is up to date and your new position is highlighted in your title. For instance, if you are going to be working as a HubSpot Software Engineering Intern come June, your updated job title could be “Incoming Software Engineering Intern at HubSpot.” This signals to other companies that you have already accepted a position, while also showing how excited you are to be joining the team. Once your profile is ready to go, connect with your future colleagues and follow their updates. Don’t be surprised if people from your new company start connecting with you — LinkedIn is a tremendous tool that many people use to learn more about their teammates ahead of time.
Share Your Story
If this is your first post-grad job, or even if you’ve been climbing the career ladder for years, connect back with the college or university who may have helped you get where you are. Email someone from the school’s Career Services team to talk about your interview experience and new role, and share your story with student organizations and affinity groups that have interest in the area you’ll be focusing on. Not only does this provide you with a huge mentorship opportunity, it’s also a great way to partner with Career Services and give back to your university by helping other students that might be in need of some guidance. Down the road, the company you are joining may be looking for someone to serve as a university ambassador on campus during the academic year; taking the initiative to build the brand before even starting at the company will prepare you to take on such a role if interested.
Last but not least -- be you. All five of these tips demonstrate the value in being proactive and involved, but at the end of the day, being true to yourself and your character when engaging with future colleagues is what builds the foundation of credibility that is vital to your success. If you aren't someone who likes to initiate conversation, perhaps focus your energy on boosting your LinkedIn. If you enjoy getting to know others and are excited about all of the new friends you’ll soon be making, take on tip #3 and start a thread within the cohort space.
There is no “one size fits all” technique for maintaining warm communication lines, nor is there a point in your career in which these tips expire. Keep them in mind as you continue down your path, and have confidence in the fact that your preparation and dedication to your new role will result in a truly remarkable first day experience.