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Starting a new job- how to have the best start

office desk

Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect. Maybe you’re raring to go and can’t wait to get started, or maybe you’re just plain nervous. Most likely, it’s a bit of both; and understandably so. Whilst taking the next step on the career ladder is an exciting prospect, a new job will affect almost every aspect of your life, so it’s bound to be stressful.

A lot of hard work has gone into this job change already. There was the CV-writing, the application process and plenty of interview preparation. But it doesn’t stop here, there’s plenty more to come. The first few days, weeks and months in your new job are effectively an extension of the interview. You need to prove your new employer right for hiring you. And with a bit of focus and hard work, you can give yourself the best chance of a great start. Read on for our top tips for a successful first day at your new job.

Part ways gracefully

A new chapter may be about to begin, but first, you need to close the last one. As tempting as it may be to tell that passive-aggressive colleague just exactly what you think of them or your unbearably smug manager exactly where they can stick their job, remember this: how you leave your current position matters. It’s likely to influence your career long after you’ve left. Don’t burn those bridges, because it’s far more advantageous for you to leave on as positive a note as possible.

Before starting a new job, work to ease the transition as much as you can. Hand over any projects along with written notes that’ll help ensure a smooth handover. If you’re a manager, take care of those you’re leaving behind. Perhaps book in a final review to share any final feedback, and listen to theirs about you too.

Be prepared for your first day

You really can’t be too prepared for your first day. Not only will it ensure you make the best impression, but knowing you’re all set will help ease those first day nerves.

It’s important to confirm well in advance exactly where you need to be. Which building are you meant to be in? Which department? It also helps to confirm who you’ll be meeting and at what time. A bit of an obvious point here, but don’t be late. Take every precaution to ensure that you aren’t. Plan your journey carefully and aim to be early – you can always go for a coffee nearby beforehand. It’s advisable to try a dry run of your commute, at that precise time of day so that you know what to expect.

It’s also worth checking the official dress code guidelines well before you start, to make sure you’ll be dressed appropriately.

Take everything you may need with you. Take proof of ID whether they request it or not. have other potentially relevant details to hand, such as your bank details and National Insurance number. And do make sure you have the simple things with you – no-one wants to be the person scrabbling about for a pen on their first day.

Lay the groundwork before you start

Before you start your job, take the time to contact your new line manager and ask how they’d suggest you prepare. They may be able to send through some background reading on the company. In this day and age, there is plenty of information online too, so read whatever you can on their website and social media accounts. It’ll help you hit the ground running.

Introduce yourself (a lot!)

When you’re a newbie, it’s important to meet as many people as possible. So make an effort to introduce yourself whenever you have the opportunity. The more confidently you do this, the better you’ll come across, and the less scary it’ll all seem.

Get your bearings

Take a tour of the office and note where things are, Bathrooms, meeting rooms, water, and tea-making facilities, and of course the emergency exit routes – it’s better to be safe than sorry! Request a tour of departments if you haven’t been given one.

Be adaptable

Take the lead from your manager and the rest of your team – they’ll most likely have a plan for your first day, and the next few weeks. If there isn’t a plan in place, then it’s a good idea to take the initiative and put one together yourself. You can always talk it through with your manager once you’ve drawn it up.

Unless it’s your first job, no doubt you already have your own way of doing things. This is great, but be mindful that what works in one company doesn’t necessarily work in another. You may need to adapt your processes to suit.

Master communication with your line manager

When you’re starting a new job, communication is key, particularly when it involves your line manager. In the early stages, it’s worth asking them how they’d prefer you to communicate with them.

When it comes to your workload, speak up. Let your team know if you’re drowning, but equally, let them know if you can handle more projects.

Try as best you can to understand what your manager is hoping to achieve, and what they want from you. That way, you’re able to be as helpful to them as possible.

Ask questions

However good the induction process may be, starting a new job means that you’re likely to have plenty of questions that you’ll need answers to in order to do your job effectively. Ask them. Don’t suffer in silence when asking a simple question could solve your problem. On the other hand, don’t ask something if you could look up the answer yourself. It shows little initiative, which isn’t the impression you’ll want to give.

Get to know your colleagues

Take opportunities to get to know people. Whether it’s a quick chat while the kettle boils, a few words before the start of a meeting, or making the most of a team lunch. It’ll make your workday much more enjoyable, as well as giving you an insight into the company.

Keep tabs on your progress

Regular performance reviews are vital – especially when you’re new in a role. It’s likely that your manager will have scheduled some in, but if not, it may be worth suggesting some yourself. It will give you pointers on what aspects of your work they’re pleased with, and how they feel you can improve.

There’s so much to think about when you’re starting a new job. It can be incredibly overwhelming at times. When it all gets a bit too much, the most important thing is to be calm and confident. Your new employer chose you for this role over all those other people who applied. Clearly, they saw your potential – all you have to do is realise it. And that’s a job you can certainly do.

Mark Gill

By Mark Gill

Recruitment Director with a proven record of providing world class hires at all levels of office and management positions within the Leeds Bradford region. We use our unique Headway Recruitment Platform incorporating psychometric testing to find the top candidates. If you want access to the full local talent pool get in contact with the team at Headway. We help companies achieve growth through our unique approach. This ensures the candidates we place are the perfect fit. Companies are then best placed to get the best from each individual as they understand their motivating traits. Proud to be recognised as preferred supplier for several businesses in the Sunday Times top 100 firms to work for.
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