Starting a New Job during the Holiday Season: What to Expect

If you’re starting your new job during the hectic and unpredictable days between mid-November and early January, you’ll probably be facing either of two environments: The busy season, or the quiet season. Either your new office will be a madhouse, with each person doing the work of five and every other task slipping through the cracks, or you’ll step into a practically abandoned building, with a skeleton crew keeping the place afloat while everyone else goes on vacation.Both of these scenarios are likely. Hiring managers like to welcome new employees during quiet periods so they find their footing in a low risk atmosphere. But at the same time, the busy season brings a high demand for extra help and extra hands. So if you’re stepping into a new workplace that fits either of these descriptions, you’ll want to keep a few considerations in mind.The Busy New Office: First Week Tips1. Stay focused and don’t become overwhelmed. If this is impossible, try to keep your overwhelmed feelings to yourself. Externally, stay as cool as a cucumber. You can crawl under the kitchen table and have a breakdown after you get home. First impressions can be lasting—even if any reasonable person would struggle in this chaos, you don’t want to be permanently branded as fragile or frazzled.2. Take notes. Actually write down everything you’re told about the new office and your new role, including the names of your contacts and coworkers. You may think you have a handle on the names of those around you, but after the first twenty introductions, you’ll probably start losing track.3. Move quickly. Even if you’re just crossing the room from your workstation to a conference room, walk with a sense of purpose. Keep your gestures and body language in sync with the mood around you.The Quiet New Office: First Week Tips1. Show initiative. Even if your new boss will be out of the office all week and won’t witness anything you do, look sharp. Don’t just sit at your desk waiting for instructions. Set goals, look for projects to tackle, and figure out how to pick up where your predecessor left off.2. If there’s nobody available to walk you around the office and introduce you to everyone, introduce yourself.3. Familiarize yourself with your workspace. You won’t have much time to do this later after the pace picks up, so get it out of the way now. Learn how to access necessary databases, learn where the office fax machine is located, and make sure your password is functional and you have all the supplies you need. Use this quiet time to learn as much as you can about your new vendor contracts and clients. When the season ends and your real work begins, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.A Great New Job Starts with a Great ResumeBefore you can step into a new job—during the holiday season or any other time of the year—you’ll need to make a strong impression during the application and interview process. And to do this, you’ll need a strong resume. Visit MyPerfectResume for the tools and formatting resources that can help you land the job you’re looking for and start the next chapter of your professional life.