5 Tips for Every Junior

Photo of Piotr Mierzyński

Piotr Mierzyński

Updated Apr 14, 2021 • 5 min read

Your first few days in a new environment can be tough, especially if you’re a junior joining an organization with a dynamic culture. There are some things you can do to land smoothly in your first few months though. Based on my experience in my first few months at Netguru, I would like to introduce you to five tips that will help you hit the ground running.

1. Leave your comfort zone

You probably did this already when you decided to find a job, choose a career field, or applied to the company you are in right now. Good for you! Keep doing it because it will allow you to adapt faster and more easily.

You can ask your manager to give you some internal tasks so you can warm up a bit. Then, share the results on the company's channel for feedback. This exercise will build your recognition, and you’ll practice receiving feedback.

You can also volunteer for the company’s initiatives. I decided to participate in the Netguru Instagram Takeover, where I shared my day of work. The preparation process allowed me to meet new colleagues and have real fun.

The more you repeat specific activities, the easier it will be to face them in the future. So if you feel that every call with teammates, leaders, or clients is stressful for you, believe me, it will pass. Just practice ;).

2. Don't be afraid to ask

During your onboarding process, you’ll probably have tons of questions. And guess what? You should ask them! By doing that, you show that you care about the role, you show your engagement, and you raise your confidence in the community.

You can start with the simplest questions like “How should I report my work?” or “Where can I find X?”. You can also try asking your mentor or leader, for example, about their story in the company when they joined or if they have any advice for you.

And the most important – you should ask for feedback. Don’t try to make your project perfect at once. Share your work, bounce ideas off your team, and discuss it. Believe me, your colleagues are willing to help fellow juniors who are new to the team and eager to learn, so don’t hesitate to ask. Remember to be polite, respect other people’s time, and I’m sure you’ll find what you need.

3. Reach out to people

One of the best lessons I took from my first few months at Netguru is to reach out to people, especially from outside your specialty. Just ask this person in a direct message and arrange a 10-15 minute call, so you’ll have a chance to say “Hi”, learn more about the company and good practices, and ask for advice.

Questions like “What do you think about this approach in the project?”, “Do you find this technology useful?”, or “How do you handle X?” can be a good start. By doing this, you’ll raise your confidence, build recognition, and get a chance to meet really inspiring people.

4. Assume good intentions

Remember that you're all on the same team. Every person wants to deliver the best quality outcome, and if you need help, you can count on them. The fact that someone is chatting with you without using “smile” emojis doesn’t mean you did something wrong. People have their own styles of communication, and the more colleagues you talk to, the more different styles you’ll see.

5. Make mistakes

Of course not intentionally ;) During my onboarding process, I got this advice from my mentor: “Don’t be afraid to fail.” Nobody is expecting you to do everything perfectly after the first month. Even the most experienced members of the company make mistakes because it’s an integral part of the journey.

You’ll miss deadlines, struggle, and get distracted. But none of those things should stop you from learning and growing. Remember – junior: Googles everything. Senior: already Googled everything ;)

Bonus tip from my colleague Alicja Krawczyk: Dive into core processes

You are given precious time for onboarding at the beginning. This is not without good reason. Spend this time effectively on getting to know processes – you are going to put them into practice faster than you think. Knowing them when the time comes will certainly improve the speed of your flow and let you focus on the most important aspects of your work.

Good luck!

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