What to Expect Your First Week on Assignment
By Koree Phillips
Even in current times, companies are still hiring. Many people are working remotely, and many are going through online, video, or phone interviews as they search for new positions. To keep things relatively normal, I want to discuss with you what happens once you, as a candidate, should expect once you first accept a job offer. Your first week on assignment is a learning process and allows you to get a feel for where you are working and to prepare for what you will be doing. In this blog, you’ll find all you need to know about how your first week at your new technology job will go. I realize that some of what I talk about is once things return to normal and we are all going back into the office, but most of this still applies to times like now.
Preparing for your first day
Let’s start with your first day on assignment at your new technology job. Typically, specific start date details are sent to you 48-72 hours before your first day. These details vary with every client and are geared toward each starting individual. They tell you the start time, location, and other important information relevant to the company on the first day.
It’s very important to always prepare for your first day. One of the best practices we recommend, during traditional times, is to do a trial run of the commute to the office location. By doing this, you are able to see approximately how much time it takes to get from your home to the worksite, as well as identify parking options. Finding parking options prior to your first day is especially important when working in a downtown city environment. In this case, it’s possible you need to park in a parking garage, so it’s important to factor in cost or work with the recruiter or vendor support team if you need assistance identifying parking garages or other areas. Once you have parked, locate the building, floor/suite, etc. You want to make sure you know where everything is, so you are prepared and on time on your first day of your technology job. During times like now, be sure to be online at client start times because it is normal for managers to be concerned about productivity. Everyone, right now, simply wants to know that everyone is putting their best foot forward regardless of where they are working.
I also recommend that you either print out the start details or be able to easily access them on your phone. The details given to you have contact names, phone number, email, etc. in case you are asked who you are there to see. Having these details on hand allows you to be more prepared in this situation if it were to happen.
Lastly, get a good nights rest and have everything you need for your first day prepared and ready to go come the morning. Be sure you have your ID with you upon arrival as well to show who you are at check in. Overall, properly preparing for your first day of your technology job allows for a great start to your first week on assignment. With some of the meeting crashing that is happening, some clients are asking newer employees and consultants to share the ID when they are on camera.
What to expect your first day on assignment
First and foremost, during traditional times, I recommend you arrive 15 minutes early on your first day. If an INT representative is local to the client site, typically the Recruiter, Consultant Manager, or Account Manager meets with you about 10-15 minutes prior to your start time at the front desk/security check-in/guard shack to assist with check-in, call the manager or direct report to notify them that you have arrived, and then introduce you. If there aren’t any INT Reps local to the client-site, then the consultant is given specific check-in instructions and the manager or direct report contact information prior to start date of the technology job.
What to expect your first day varies by company, but generally, it includes receiving all the equipment you need. This includes a computer, key fob, VPN token access, and more depending on the company. The manager or point of contact will likely give you a tour of the office, assist with assigning a desk or workspace, etc. A majority of your first day includes obtaining access to specific client sites, platforms, systems, servers, as well as receive training and knowledge sharing. In current times, you will likely be given specific meeting times that you need to attend for team meetings and for other work sharing and guidance.
Your first day and into your first week on assignment consists of introductions to team members, overview of responsibilities, and the outlining of expectations. Remember, your first week seems overwhelming and possibly unorganized depending on the project, so be sure you are patient, ask questions, and partner with tenured or experienced team members for support. Keep in mind that it is very important that you check in periodically throughout the day with your team lead and other team members. Be sure you understand what to be working on and how frequently the manager wants to check in. Although unlikely, it’s possible that equipment did arrive in-time for your first day. If that’s the case, and the manager still advises starting, there are other materials and user information to review and study to help ramp you up to speed until your technology arrives.
You’ve completed your first day on assignment…now what?
Your first week on assignment is very similar to your first day. Be prepared to receive A LOT of information, take part in conference calls, as well as partnering with IT support, your manager, lead, and other team members to get proper access and setup. As mentioned before on your first day, your first week also includes knowledge sharing, understanding your responsibilities, your role, and the project. Be prepared to take notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions! No questions are considered a dumb question, especially within your first couple of weeks on assignment. Always remember to be confident in your ability and your skillset. There is a lot of information you are taking in, so it’s important to stay focused and try not to feel overwhelmed. Everything starts to make more sense and “clicks” over the next couple of weeks.
When the first week on assignment ends, you should be completely set up. After this week, there is less handholding, and you are given more responsibility to complete certain tasks individually. At this point, your responsibilities and work expectations are clearly outlined, and your project’s details and deadlines are communicated. The manager’s style and communication preference are also known as well as your teammates and points of contact. Everything begins to fall into place once properly set up throughout the first week.
In your first week, you are getting the lay of the land. It may feel overwhelming at first, but it all falls into place over time. Whether you are virtual or onsite, it is important to stay connected and perform well with both your manager and your team. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. Good luck at your new assignments and stay safe.
INT Technologies is the nation’s largest certified Veteran-Owned Staffing and Consulting Company. We have 20 years proven track record assisting our varied clients with their projects and staffing needs within the financial, insurance, healthcare, government, aerospace, and technology industries. Serving clients nationwide, our leadership team -comprised of Chris Knott, Rhonda Rutledge, James Moloney, Tamara Ellestad, and Richard Krause -focuses on integrity and service and the relationships they help build. Proof of our commitment to “our client is our highest priority” can be seen in the fact that each of INT’s founding clients remain INT clients 20 years later. www.inttechnologies.com