Landing the job you always wanted is a big step if you’re a digital marketer. Any new job takes time to adjust too and digital marketing is no exception. Meeting new coworkers, figuring out the office flow, and learning a new system can be overwhelming.

Even though most experts agree that it takes about 90 days for new hires to prove themselves in a new job, it can take much longer for a new employee to feel welcome and capable of contributing. Our team here loves finding our new hires strengths and letting them excel in those areas. Sometimes turning new hires lose and instituting a sort of self-onboarding can be incredibly beneficial for the company. It allows new hires to explore different disciples, finding their niche, as well as freeing up managers for normal work.

Self-onboarding may mean that you (as a new hire) will be navigating the social and procedural terrain of your new job will be up to you.

Don’t be intimidated! Not only does self-onboarding give you a more unfiltered perspective of the company and its culture, it also demonstrates to your colleagues and superiors that you are a self-starter who is willing to do what’s necessary to help the company succeed.

If self-onboarding will be part of your entrance into your new position, the first few days are critical to the process. You’ll need to learn:

  1. The rules and regulations that govern the enterprise.  Every business has its own unique set of guidelines and accepted practices, so don’t be afraid to engage your peers if you have questions.
  1. The parameters of your job description.  You want to better understand the expectations of your new role so that you aren’t stepping on the toes of your new co-workers. Don’t be afraid to check in with a manager if you have questions about roles and responsibilities.
  1. The culture of the organization. Gaining an early understanding of team members’ formal and informal norms, their weekly rituals and the general day-to-day pecking order can go far toward demonstrating your desire to fit in. Since you’re self-onboarding, watch how the team interacts and ask questions about elements that affect you. For example, find out if everyone eats together or separately during lunch breaks. If you eat at your desk, you might be needlessly isolating yourself.

Since social integration is one of your key goals, meeting and working with the organization’s insiders and making small talk with coworkers will be important to your transition process. Informal social situations, like lunches and coffee breaks represent great opportunities to learn about the organization and individual team members, because people will feel less rushed.

Be sure to take part in voluntary company events and activities even if it takes you outside your comfort zone. Team building exercises are just as important as shouldering new responsibilities, and completing assignments on time highlights your value to the team.

If you are feeling uncomfortable about approaching your manager with “typical, dumb, new employee questions,” seek out a mentor so you don’t feel like a nuisance or an incompetent.  A mentor is one of the best ways to adopt the values of your new company quickly.  Your team members will also play a key role by offering you support, knowledge, and a sense of belonging.

Self-onboarding can be a demanding process. If you stay focused, ask questions, and do a lot of listening, your peers and the higher-ups will quickly notice your desire to fit in and contribute and respond with appreciation and approval.