Starting a new job can be a scary prospect. This article aims to prevent that and shows you the best way to start a new job on the best possible footing.
Approach your first day the same way you approached your job interview. First impressions make a big impact, so it’s important to be prepared. This means doing your homework! Ensure that you take the time to fully understand the responsibilities associated with your position. Research the company’s history again and find out as much as possible about company culture. Ideally, you should plan to take some time off prior to starting your new job to get yourself physically and mentally ready for the change. Read the best recruitment strategies for 2020 to gain an insight into what companies are expecting from their new employees.
Doing the preparation work will ensure you have a smooth beginning to your first day at your new place of work. However, preparation also means getting ready for the challenges of the first 3-6 months in the position. Remember, during those initial months you are essential under probation and all your moves will be carefully observed by managers in the company to check you are meeting the required standards.
Be sure to arrive with all the documents requested – this is likely to include your P45, national insurance details, bank details, passport, driver’s license, etc. It can be handy to bring a plastic wallet with you to place all of the documents the company provides you with, such as your contract, employee code of conduct manual, etc. Finally, be sure to go to bed at a sensible hour the night before your first day – getting enough sleep will mean you arrive awake, focused and ready to carry out all of the tasks asked of you.
• Punctuality and Presentation
The importance of first impressions cannot be stressed enough. This means you need to turn up on time looking presentable. Just like during your job interview, erring on the side of caution is a wise approach when it comes to selecting your outfit and hairstyle unless you know exactly what is and isn’t suitable attire for employees of the company. After spending a week or two at your new position, you’ll have a better understanding as to what types of clothes, shoes, and makeup it is appropriate to wear.
It is not uncommon for employers to ask new hires to arrive slightly later on the first day to give teams some preparation time. However, no matter what the situation, it’s always wise to arrive at least 30 minutes early. This will mean you have a bit of spare time to adjust to nearby surroundings and perhaps have a coffee before entering your first meeting.
You want to be proactive and organized. It’s unlikely for you to be asked to get deep into a vital project on your first day (although it’s certainly not impossible). With any time you have to spare, start organizing your workstation, adjusting to the work environment and understand where all the key facilities and amenities are, such as toilets, coffee machines, water dispensers, fire exits, fire extinguishers, etc.
A new job gets you a fresh start, so you want to begin as you plan to go on. This means perfecting your time management skills and ensuring your know exactly which skills areas you need to improve. You don’t want to repeat any mistakes from your last job. Start taking notes – get to understand how everything in the office works – you don’t want to be that person that is constantly asking your work colleagues to repeat instructions. You should also plan how to prioritize all of the work responsibilities assigned to you.
Be proactive and focus on building momentum. This means putting yourself forward for responsibilities, asking lots of questions and being open to new approaches to tasks. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Showcasing your skills as a self-starter is a good way to make great first impressions – team members will appreciate your initiative and insights. If you get a chance to demonstrate your leadership skills on your first day, even better.
• Introduce Yourself
In some cases, the manager or an assigned colleague might take time to introduce you to other employees, but this is not a given. It’s best to take the proactive approach and introduce yourself to your team as well as other people in the company. Try to remember as many names and faces as possible.
Some workplaces may require you to pen an introductory email – be sure to take your time writing this. It can still be worth writing such an email even if you are not required to as it can be a good way to let people know a bit more about the new person.
• Understand Company Culture
It’s vital that you get comfortable around the people you are going to be spending a lot of your time with. For a lot of firms, culture fit is very important. The long term success of your position in a company often depends on how well the whole team works. So, you need to become part of the team as quickly as possible. If you are already able to make jokes on day one, your future is looking good.