If you don’t ask, you’ll never know! The first week at a new job is critical – not only for making a good first impression – but because you’ll learn so much. Be sure to channel your inner sponge because you’ll be absorbing a ton of information! Not only do you want to be prepared with a pen and paper, ready to take notes, you also want to have a list of questions to ask during your first week.

These five critical questions will help set you on the right track to professional success:

“What are the most useful team resources at my disposal?”

When I first started at Medix, I was amazed at how much information I had right at my fingertips. I received paper materials about how the company works, a handy seating chart and tons of online resources to reference – which are all great! The problem was honing in on which pieces would be most useful for me in the first few days of work and which tasks they applied to.

During your first week, ask your manager what you should be review the most to get up to speed. It could be a list of acronyms your company uses often, a document covering important company policies and procedures, an organizational chart, instructions on how to use your email or an overview of company products. The last thing you want to do is to miss something important and wait until it’s too late to ask a simple question!  

“How do performance evaluations work?”

The best way to set yourself up for success is to understand exactly what you’re being measured on, how you’re being measured and when. If your manager has a specific evaluation procedure in place, mark your calendar right away. Based on the metrics you’re being evaluated on, keep tabs on yourself, with careful notes and conscious goal setting. If your company doesn’t have a specific evaluation procedure in place, suggest having quarterly check-ins with your boss to make sure you’re on the right track and doing well.

“What types of decisions do I make autonomously and what do I need approval on ahead of time?”

No one wants to be the nagging newbie who asks for approval on every single little project. Instead of questioning yourself on whether you need an official thumbs up to move forward with a task, ask about the workflow right off the bat. What types of projects does your manager need to review? What projects can you take the reins on? Determining the norms and standard operating procedures will increase your productivity and give you more opportunities to impress your supervisor!

“Who are the people I should try to meet?”

To fully understand the lay of the land, ask who you need to meet first and try to get an idea of the team dynamic early on. Building relationships with the people you lock arms with every day will be crucial throughout your professional career. By connecting with teammates across the organization from a variety of departments early on, you’ll be able to better understand how things work and build meaningful relationships that will help make your time at the company successful.

“What can I do to make an impact right away?”

When you start, cut right to the chase. Ask about the top things you need to get done right away. Do you need to take care of HR needs and fill out paperwork first, or take training courses and create logins for company tools? Being proactive about these tasks will show your employer that you’re on the ball and you’ll be able to knock out quick needs.

Bonus Question: “Where’s the coffee?!”

While landing a career opportunity is exciting, preparing for your first week at a new job is crucial. During those first few days, consider asking these questions along the way. The last thing you want is to kick yourself for not doing so early on!

Do you have other questions that helped you get started during the first week at a new job? Feel free to share in the comments below: