Hit the Ground Running

Ten tasks to complete between a job offer and your first day on the job.

  1. Close the loop with your former boss and co-workers. Provide as much notice as possible, write a thoughtful resignation letter and do as much as you can to ease the transition for the people you will be leaving behind.
  2. Don’t burn any bridges. Even if the experience at your former job was horrible, keep all communications thoughtful and dignified. It truly is a small world, and you never know what will happen in the future.
  3. After all of the preparation you did to land the job, now is the time to do more. Request access to any and all information relating to your new position, including org charts.
  4. Get to know the people with whom you will be working. If you can set up a time to meet with new associates before you start, that’s ideal. If not, try to set up introductory meetings in advance, so that you will get to know the people you will be working with — and for — right away.
  5. Complete as much paperwork and orientation as possible beforehand. Filling out forms and sitting through benefits videos can eat up a lot of precious time during your first days on the job. Work with your new manager and HR to get as much “HR housekeeping” done before your first day as possible.
  6. Leverage social-networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter not only to announce your new role but also to collaborate with your new colleagues. In addition, sign up for any feeds from your company, its partners and its competitors.
  7. Develop a set of goals for the first week, the first month and the first 90 days in your new position.
  8. Map your route. Were your interviews scheduled to occur so that you had to travel during rush hour? If not, make sure you know how long it will take you to reach your destination during the most congested times on the road.
  9. Prepare to feel a little stupid. Starting any new job is rough. Acknowledge beforehand that you won’t have all of the answers your first day on the job, and be prepared to ask lots of questions.
  10. Take a (modest) breather. The time between the job offer and the job may be busy, but things are bound to be busier once you start your new position. Be sure to allot some time to relax and regroup while you have the chance.