The First Day

Succeed at Work

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You’ve taken all the steps to getting hired, and now the real work begins! Entering a new position is no simple task. With new people to meet, environments to adapt to, and processes to learn, it takes your full commitment and effort to maintain a high level of performance, day-in and day-out. 

Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to help you be effective. Use this page to prepare for workplace success, beginning on your first day and continuing throughout your career.

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Know Your Supervisor

The Style of a Supervisor

Among all of the professional relationships that you have with people at work, there are none more important than the relationship that you have with your supervisor. Because a supervisor’s leadership style, communication preferences, expectations, and interests can vary greatly among each supervisor, you can optimize your relationship with your supervisor by seeking an understanding of these stylistic preferences.


Supervisor Preferences

The best step to take is to be clear and ask your supervisor about their preferences, rather than making guesses or assumptions. Ask for clarification on any aspects of your role that have not already been made clear.

Here are some important items to ask your supervisor about:

  • What your supervisor expects from you in your position
  • How and when to best get in touch with your supervisor (e.g., email, phone call, text, in-person, etc.)
  • How your performance will be evaluated and how success is measured on the team
  • What leadership style(s) they use or draw inspiration from
  • When and how to speak about workplace conflict


Your Preferences

Just like every other relationship, your relationship with your supervisor is mutual and you are just as much a part of it as they are. It is usually in your best interest to talk with your supervisor about your unique preferences to help them help you.

Here are some items to inform your supervisor about: 

  • How they can best support you in performing well
  • What you see as your strengths and desired area(s) of improvement
  • How you prefer to receive feedback
  • Any other relevant items that they should know about you


Realistic Expectations

In a perfect world of work, every supervisor and every employee would be able to have all of their preferences and needs fulfilled. In most workplaces, however, this is less realistic. 

Be reasonable in your expectations from your supervisor. Try to not ask them to adhere to an endless list of your preferences, but do share a few of the most important things that they can do to help you be successful in your role. 

Be patient, and maintain open communication so that you can revisit these topics when necessary rather than hold grudges over time.

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Suggested Steps for Success


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