Starting a new job is exciting, but there's also a lot of pressure to make a good impression with your boss and colleagues.
The good news is, there are a number of small steps you can take to stand out and secure early wins, says Nickle LaMoreaux, IBM's chief human resources officer who's helped hire and onboard thousands of candidates throughout her 21-year career at the tech giant.
A good time to do this is in the first three months on the job, which managers see as the "make or break" period for a new hire. During this time, you should be able to set clear expectations and goals for yourself, start building meaningful relationships with your co-workers and become comfortable with your day-to-day responsibilities.
Below, LaMoreaux shares with CNBC Make It three tips to be successful on your first day, during your first week and in the months ahead.
Networking with people on your team, and the different departments within your organization, is the fastest way to learn about office politics, workplace culture and what the company's future looks like.
LaMoreaux recommends inviting a different co-worker to join you for lunch each week, whether it's in-person or virtual. Ask them questions about their career path, advice they would give a new hire and the projects they're currently working on.
If your roles are connected, it's always smart to ask your colleague how you can make their job easier, or if there's anything you can assist them with.
"These conversations give you an opportunity to get to know your colleagues on a personal level and ask questions about other things going on in the organization that you're curious about," LaMoreaux says.
LaMoreaux says it's a myth that asking for help is a sign of incompetence or weakness. Instead, she believes it shows a willingness to learn and get the job done right.
"More companies are moving toward a culture where feedback is valued and encouraged," she says. "In some cases, it's even expected that employees swap feedback on a regular basis."
Within the first month, be open to sharing your first draft of an important task or an email you're not 100% confident about with your manager or a colleague and ask for their thoughts.
Not all managers are great at giving feedback, though. So, instead of asking for general feedback, you might have to be more specific. If you're presenting at a meeting for the first time, rather than asking, "Did that meeting go OK?" you might pose it as, "What could have made it even better?'" LaMoreaux says.
It's hard for a lot of people to speak up during meetings, especially if they're new. It's one of the biggest challenges LaMoreaux helps people with.
But remember, "you may be the least experienced person on the team, but that's also your superpower: You're bringing new energy and a fresh perspective on the business," she says.
Don't shy away from raising your hand during the next team brainstorm. Or, if the opportunity gets away from you, send a follow-up email to your manager outlining your idea.