When starting your new job, it's important to be prepared so you can make a great first impression.

Starting your new job

Your first day, week or month in a new job can be understandably nerve-wrecking. Even though it’s exciting to be starting your new job, there’s lots to learn too. It can be scary and a little stressful trying to make the right first impression with your boss and your co-workers. 

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our top tips for everything you need to know about starting your new job.

1. Be organised

Before your first day, set aside some time to get organised. Refresh your memory on the details of the job you’ll be doing by revisiting the job description or offer paperwork. Check back on the company’s website or social media pages to see if anything new has happened since you were offered the job. 

Double check all the information you’ve been sent from your new boss or the HR department. Make sure you know what time to arrive and who to ask for when you get there. You might also need to take some things with you on your first day, like your proof of identity or address, copies of your qualifications or bank details.

It goes without saying that you don’t want to be late on your first day so make sure you’ve planned out your journey. Doing a practice run is always a good idea, particularly if your interview was online or by telephone and this will be your first trip to the workplace itself. (Plus, you’ll also be able scope out the best lunch spots).

You should also make sure you’re well-presented and ready to make a great first impression. Ask about dress code or uniforms in advance if you’re unsure or simply make sure you look smart. Tidy hair and shiny shoes can go a long way!

2. Be confident

When you walk into the office, factory, warehouse or construction site on that first day, you’re bound to feel a little nervous. Try to relax and be yourself. 

Make an effort to be enthusiastic and interested in your new co-workers as they welcome you to the team. Try to volunteer information about yourself and find out more about them too. You could ask how long they’ve worked for the company, about the work that they do or where they’ve worked in the past. 

If confidence isn’t really your thing, maybe try to make one or two friends who you can stick with until you’re ready to open up. They might even be happy to introduce you to others gradually or go out on their lunch break with you to show you around.

Whilst it’s a good idea to try and remember as many new names as you can, no-one’s perfect so don’t worry too much if you forget. Simply be polite, professional and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. They’ll be plenty of time for you to learn who everyone is as you go along.

3. Listen and learn

The most important part of any new job is to listen and be willing to learn new things. Don’t presume you know everything (or anything!) and try not to make comparisons to your last job. If you approach it with an open-mind and a flexible approach, you’re more likely to pick things up and be able to hit the ground running.

Don’t expect to be an expert straight away though. They’ll be lots to learn and you won’t know it all by the end of your first day, week or even month. It’s a good idea to make notes as you’re shown something new so that the first time you do it by yourself you can look back on anything you might have forgotten.

Whilst some companies may give you a formal induction on your first day, followed by on-the-job or structured training, others may throw you in at the deep end. Try to show initiative but if you need help at any point, make sure you speak up. 

Asking questions and wanting to know more about how to do your job well in the early days is a good thing. Your employer won’t see this as a weakness, more that you want to get things right. Plus, the quicker you get up to speed the less likely you are to make mistakes in the long run.

4. Challenge yourself

Starting your new job is a good opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone. New colleagues, new working environment, new duties and new systems mean you’ll undoubtedly pick up some new skills along the way too.

But it also means they’ll be new challenges, with problems or hurdles to overcome. It’s common that you might feel like you’re not very good at your job to begin with and worried that your boss might regret their decision to take you on.

Be realistic about what you can achieve. Whilst it’s tempting to volunteer for everything to try and make the best first impression, don’t overdo it. Take your time and set yourself realistic expectations as you settle in and learn to be great at what you do in a new way. Just try your best and speak to your boss if you feel like they’re asking too much too soon.

5. Enjoy it!

Starting your new job should be an exciting and fun time. After all the preparation to pass the interview and be the chosen candidate, your hard work has now paid off. Seize the opportunity and try to enjoy it!

The first day or week will most likely be tiring whilst you’re learning so much and meeting lots of new people. Give yourself some rewards for making the leap and congratulate yourself on overcoming those first-day jitters. Let off some steam by telling your friends or family all about it or tucking into a yummy treat.

It’s also a good way to set yourself up for a healthy balance. Whilst you’ll hopefully love your new job, your life outside of work is important too. Having good boundaries and being able to switch off once you’ve left the workplace will help you return to work the next day feeling refreshed and ready for whatever comes your way.

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