Your guide to starting a job: Resources to help along the way

September 02, 2020

Starting a new job can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience. Here are our recommendations for staying motivated, exploring your benefits and setting goals for your career, all based in an easy-to-follow timeline.


Congratulations! You’ve started a new job. This is an incredibly exciting time, but it can be overwhelming, too. From 401k contributions to insurance plans and knowing when to ask for a raise, there are many aspects to navigate when beginning your career or a new position. Keep this timeline in mind and don’t hesitate to use these resources to help guide the way.


0-3 Months:

  • Learn about your employer-sponsored retirement plan and set up contributions: It’s never too early to think about your retirement! Understanding what type of retirement plan your company offers (401(k), 403(b) or IRA), if your company matches contributions and to what amount, and how much you’re able to contribute to it per paycheck is extremely important.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile: Let your network know about your new position. Remember that it’s always a good time to grow and maintain your network of peers and mentors: you never know when you’ll need to reach out.
  • Get familiar with tax concepts and withholdings: Taxes aren’t exactly a fun thing to learn about, but they’re extremely important. Familiarize yourself with these tax terms, and take into consideration how much you’re withholding from your paycheck each month and if that amount is right for you.
  • Take a new coworker out for lunch or coffee: Tap into the established network at your new job and get to know the people around you! It’s a great opportunity to create both personal and professional connections and to add value to the team.
  • Research your insurance and healthcare plans: Most corporate positions come with some type of health insurance plan. While it’s important to research this before accepting the job, it’s also of interest to make sure the plan you’ve chosen is working for you and be aware of open enrollment periods in your company’s calendar.


3-6 months:

  • Set goals and stay motivated: Set yourself up for success and never stop learning. Take on new tasks in your day-to-day. Ask about attending networking events, skill workshops or industry conferences outside the organization. 
  • Speak with a financial coach: It’s never too early to speak to a financial coach about the right saving plan for you. Set yourself up for success by getting comfortable talking about money, and do so with a professional who’s ready and willing to help you navigate your financial future. 
  • Consider an adjustment to your 401k: Now that you’re accustomed to your paycheck, examine your budget, lifestyle and paychecks. If you’re comfortable, consider increasing your tax-exempt contribution to your 401k or other employer-sponsored retirement plan.
  • Get involved with company clubs or volunteer opportunities: A healthy work environment includes comradery with co-workers. If there are options available and time allows, look for ways to get more involved in your company’s culture. You may meet new contacts and find a new passion.


12 months+:

  • Set up a yearly review with your manager: If your company doesn’t require a yearly review, don’t hesitate to set one up with your manager. It’s important to understand what you’re doing well at, what you can improve upon, and to let them know what aspects of the job are rewarding or frustrating for you. 
  • Consider asking for a raise: While asking for a raise can be uncomfortable, it’s important to recognize when and how to do so correctly. 
  • Explore networking events in your career field: Diversify your network by attending events that are happening in your area and around your career field. Meeting new connections and learning industry trends is an important part of your professional development. 
  • Update your resume to reflect your recent job duties: Now that you’ve been working in your position for a year, update your resume while your job duties are fresh in your mind.


Learn more about financial factors to consider when changing jobs.

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