After so much hard work getting an education and studying specialized courses, you’ve finally landed that fantastic job in IT. You’re excited to begin your new career, but you’re nervous too, so it’s only normal that you’d be searching for advices for your first week in IT. We’ve spoken to experts in the field and asked them about their experience and what advices for your first week in IT they would give new hires, and compiled their answers below.
1. Names and Places
Obviously a big part of your job will be working with computers, but it’s important to understand that your first few days on the job will be all about working with human beings. While you will probably be introduced to dozens of people on your first day, and be unable to remember all their names, you should do your best to try and learn as many of them as you can, as these people will become your coworkers, staff or superiors.
After you get your desk assigned or are shown to a cubicle you can use, you may get left alone for extended periods of time. Yes, there may be a working computing there for you to use in the future, but in the beginning, it is best not to try anything. Your coworkers are busy completing their tasks all around you, and you haven’t been trained on the system yet, so sometimes the best thing you can do is just sit there quietly.
Don’t expect to be given powerful network access or root credentials on your first few days, even if you’re the most-qualified person in the division. Even if you’re a genius-level network coder, it’s important to remember that first you need to get trained on the infrastructure. It takes time for new hires to learn the ropes and which employee is responsible for handling which IT requests. Some companies are very large organizations, and it takes time for things like credentials, log-on names and passwords, ID badges and other new employee needs to get processed.
If you have been assigned a permanent desk or cubicle, your first few days on the job are a great time to get everything organized. Even if your job position requires traveling, you will still be spending some time in the future sitting at your desk. If your cubicle is short on supplies, this is a great time to order pens, papers, office supplies and make sure your desk phone, if applicable, is up and running and that you know how to use it. If everything looks all right after that, make sure that your keyboard, monitor and mouse are all working properly and customized to your liking. If your company uses voicemail, make sure that you learn how to access and personalize it.
While waiting to get trained and processed, you can check and see if your computer can successfully connect to the Internet. If it can, then your first step should be navigating to the professional website LinkedIn. Log in or register to set up a profile and enter your new information about where you work, including your title and role in the firm. Then start connecting and sharing the news with your friends and colleagues. They will be happy to see you professionally represented in a premiere online space.
2. Learning the Unwritten Rules
The Human Resources department will be giving you a thick packet of informational files, employee rule books and other written guidelines for the terms of your employment at the company. But working at a company, even a modern digital firm dealing with IT, has a host of unwritten rules. These are the particular customs of an office that people do regularly but never talk about.
One good example of an unwritten rule is what to do when the coffee runs out. Do people replace it on ad hoc basis, or is it an assigned task of specific employees? There are unwritten rules on how to book meeting rooms, or who is responsible for refilling and maintaining the printers and copiers. Many offices have elaborate rules about food and drink consumption, including limiting where it can be stored – often a “break room” refrigerator – and how to demarcate that food is yours, i.e. by customary privilege or by writing your last name on the outside. You’ll also have to learn how the rules of cleaning up in the kitchen or “break room”, and how to greet visitors to the country and whether or not to serve them drinks. Even if you don’t smoke, it’s good to learn where smoking is prohibited, and any rules or bans about using mobile phones or devices.
The best advice for your first week in IT is to introduce yourself to everyone without waiting, giving them a hearty handshake. Every morning when you enter the office, greet people with a “good morning” or “hello”, and be sure to send off your coworkers at the end of the day with a “good evening” or a “see you tomorrow”. When spending social time with coworkers during training sessions or in break rooms, it’s best to be relaxed, friendly and do more listening than talking. Your coworkers are the ones who will be enforcing the unwritten rules, and so pay special attention to them as they reveal them in conversations. They can also be useful for giving good tips on where to find good restaurants or other services in the vicinity of the office.
3. Make a To-Do List
As you are learning about the unwritten rules as well as the technical aspects of your job, it’s a good idea to keep a “to-do” list. Any questions that arise along the way need to be included on the list, as well as any small projects you need to accomplish in order to be able to do your job. Some IT professionals prefer to use old-fashioned pen and paper to keep their to-do lists, but other people prefer more modern methods.