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How to settle into a contract role quickly
As a contractor, you’re expected to hit the ground running on your first day of a new job, which means you’ll need to develop skills that help settle into your role quickly. Besides being able to adapt to your new environment easily, you should also be a natural self-starter who is always on the look-out for ways to be proactive at any company.
Here are a few tips to use within your first week to get integrated into the new job:
Before your first day
In the preceding meetings and interviews, ensure that you are clear on exactly what is expected of you and what the scope of work is. Also, have a look at timelines and deadlines, ensuring that both sides agree on work to be completed in the timeframe.
Do your research on the company before you go into the office. Have conversations with contacts that may already work in the organisation so you understand more about the business as well as the products or services that they provide. Bonus if you can get a sense of office culture and figure out what the company values are.
Familiarise yourself with the current work that is being produced and what the company does. If possible arrange a handover day – a time when you can meet with someone to get the required background information before your first day in the office.
Doing your groundwork beforehand ensures that there won’t be any big surprises on that first day, allowing you to jump into the important stuff right away – your work at hand.
During your first week
Moving into the first week at the new company, here are some simple tips to keep in mind:
· Be proactive. Ask questions – it’ll show that you’re enthusiastic and ready to learn.
· Find out the names, titles and phone extensions of the people that you’re working with directly.
· Ensure that your supervisor has a copy of your CV, and understands your strengths and areas of expert knowledge.
· Learn about the procedures and processes of your organisation. For example, where do you get new pens and paper, or how can you book a meeting room, where are the printers?
A note on networking
It may be easy to dismiss the idea of getting to know the people you’re working with – after all, you are only there for a short period of time. However, the truth is, getting to know your short-term colleagues is definitely worth the effort. These effective networking skills will be crucial to your job success.
Besides building up a strong foundation to get your current work done, networking helps you navigate your new company and get buy-in on the quality of your work. Nurturing long-term relationships also gives you a network of contacts to reach out to when you’re searching for a new position.
This could be beneficial for positive job references or even extending your contract. Therefore, it is important not to underestimate the value of networking and building professional relationships.
Staying positive: it’s all about the mindset
Above all, the best mindset to adopt when entering into a contracting role is to stay positive. A willing attitude, ability to cope under pressure, and openness to change will ensure that you have a good experience and might even secure you a permanent position down the road.
Going into the role with a positive mindset will help you especially when obstacles come up, especially those that get in the way of doing the work that you were hired to do. Be flexible, and try to stay positive throughout your time at any given company.
Use it every time
This ability to settle into new teams quickly will be essential to your success as a contractor. Because you will always be thrown into new situations with every new job, establish habits and basic actions that you can use again and again with each new role.
Ready to hear more about contracting? Find contracting jobs with Page Personnel.