One of the best ways to impress your new manager and seem low maintenance to your coworkers is to think like a consultant when you start a new job. Consultants arrive at projects game ready, tools in hand and are ready to rock and roll immediately with their own gear. If you prepare like a consultant, your success won’t be dependent on the company issued beast of a laptop.
Tools of the Trade
I’ve met so many mid career job seekers with phones with broken screens that don’t work, ancient laptops that can’t handle basic tasks without crashing Keep in mind that staying in the game means annual upgrade on your own tools:
– Your phone is your lifeline to a new job. And to killing it your first week at a new job. Don’t show up with something sad.
– For most working professionals, you just need something for webmail and Microsoft office that is up to date.
– It can’t hurt to bring a tablet too.
– Having your own Mifi modem transforms your ability to work anywhere. And they aren’t expensive.
All You Need on Day 1 – Webmail Access
The sad reality is that many companies just don’t get their new employees equipment in a timely manner. As the IT shortage continues, it’s difficult to onboard new employees. So be ready to work no matter what. All you need is a webmail link and a company email. Actually you don’t really need that. Let’s say IT hasn’t even set you up in Outlook. Be ready with a sanitized gmail that is your first and last name at gmail.com. No family emails, skankmails, scary nicknames No AOL. Ever. Banish the thought of hotmail. Don’t even talk about Mindspring.
When it comes to tools of the trade, include your LinkedIn account. My recommendation is that you wait a week or two to update your profile. Let’s say you get there and your manager turns out to be a Screamer. It happens. And you get another offer. Happens all of the time. So this job is what we call a “false start.” So no need to jump the gun and update LinkedIn the moment you walk in the door. See if you want to return to your cubicle first.
Be a Rock Star New Hire
Think of the good will you will engender by powering up your laptop, logging into webmail, configuring your autosignature and answering email in your first hour. No one is going to be worried if you are “going to make it.” When you leave at the end of your first day of work, no feeling of fear that when you finally actually get access to email, you’ll have 300 emails. Instead you are allowing your manager to sleep well that night and you are on top of everything. That’s the way to start a new job. IT will like you. You won’t be high maintenance.
Take control of your office technology and tools to ensure that you are able to be productive your first day as a new hire. Don’t ever be that mid career professional complaining that “they didn’t give me the tools to succeed” if all that you needed was a basic laptop you could buy for $300 plus a phone that didn’t have a huge crack in the screen. You’re better than that.