It does not really make a difference how long you have been a member of the workforce, starting a new job is going to cause a mixture of stress and excitement in anyone. It is normal to feel nervous and completely out of your comfort zone on your first day at a new job. Understandably you are going to want to make a great first impression on your new work colleagues, so to help you prepare and start with the best foot forward I have compiled 10 tips for starting a new job.
Obviously the company is going to help you learn the ins and out of the new position, however, there are many steps you can take to ensure that you arrive confident and ready. After all, your success in the new role is ultimately your own responsibility, you can not expect the company to spoon feed you.
Tips for starting a new job.
1) Figure out what to bring and what to wear.
Make sure you choose your outfit for the first day in advance. You do not want to be scrambling on the big morning when the stress levels will already be elevated. You should also make an effort to determine what is appropriate attire for the position and specific office culture. If you have not been made aware of a dress code it is perfectly acceptable to call the company and find out what is accepted.
You should also find out if you are required to bring any of your own equipment to the workplace. Some jobs require staff to supply their own equipment from home. Depending on your new position this equipment can range from paper and pens right up to your own laptop or smartphone. Whatever you need to bring must be tested and prepared before the time.
2) Arrive a little early on day one.
You really do not want to be late on your first day. I suggest that you plan your route, and make one or two test runs before your start date. This way you will have a pretty good idea of how long the trip to your new office takes. On the big day leave a few minutes earlier then you should need to based on your time estimates, this will ensure that you arrive early on your first day.
3) Your first 90 days are an extension of your interview.
You obviously made a great first impression during the interview phase, after all, you managed to get the job. That being said you also need to remember that your employer has only had a very short period of time to assess you. Now they are going to want confirmation that they have made the right decision. It is often said that the first 90 days of employment should be seen as an extension of your interview. Make sure that you do not slack off during this period, be respectful, be professional and exceed expectations.
4) Identify the companies top performers.
One thing that you will probably notice immediately is that the top performers in the company are the most positive. These are the people you want to associate with the most, you need to watch them closely and do your very best to identify what makes them successful. Try to duplicate these characteristics especially the positivity. This might be one of the best tips for starting a new job.
From time to time, you will be approached by negative staff members. These individuals are going to want to gossip and complain. They thrive on dragging others down with their negative opinions about the company and management. If this happens to you try your best to remain neutral, do not offer your opinion on the topic but rather try to change the subject.
5) Rewards must be earned!
There are some people in the world that have unbelievable confidence, almost to the point of arrogance. They will arrive on their first day truly believe that the company is lucky to have them. These staff members quite often start making demands within the very first week. In my opinion, this is not a great way to start. Rather, I suggest keeping your head down and proving your worth. Once you have done this it is far more likely that you will have any “requests” received more favourably.
6) Set boundaries from day one.
One mistake many people make when starting a new job is allowing themselves to be taken advantage of. We quite often work longer hours, sometimes late into the evening for example. We do this because we want to make the best impression on our new employer by showing that we are willing to go the extra mile. The problem with this is that once we have shown that we are willing to do certain things it becomes very hard to say no when asked again.
Don’t allow this to happen, rather make sure your boundaries are respected.
7) Mind your own business.
Another one of my top tips for starting a new job is just to mind your own darn business! If you are working in a larger office environment it is almost inevitable that quite soon after starting your new job you will be approached by one or more of the negative staff members who just want to gossip. As I mentioned earlier you need to keep your distance from these people. These negative people are often members of negative little cliques, and they would love you to become the newest member.
Keep out of these gossip sessions as much as possible. You do not want to involve yourself in matters that do not concern you.
As a general rule, you do not want to involve yourself in any other staff members business. However there are exceptions to this rule, and if you are aware of any unethical behaviour, unsafe behaviour or bullying taking place you might want to consider reporting this to your employer.
8) Join in-office social events
If there are any out of office social happenings you should do your best to make yourself aware of these and try to join in. This will allow you to get to know your colleagues on a more personal level, this is the best way to identify which staff members you should associate with more, and which you should try and avoid.
9) Ask questions.
If you are unsure about something, your supervisor is going to be much happier if you ask rather then making a mistake. It is almost always much easier to ask then to fix a mistake down the line. That being said, it is also advisable that you do your own research and figure things out yourself from time to time. Also don’t want to ask your supervisor the same question over and over again, so make sure you pay attention and only ask a question once.
10) Tips for starting a new job: Ask for Feedback.
Feedback is one of the most useful methods of determining where you are going right and where you can improve. There is nothing wrong for asking your supervisor for feedback from time to time. If your supervisor offers you constructive criticism you need to be open and receptive to this.
At the end of the day you need to remember that we are all human, the nerves and butterflies in the stomach are normal and not unique to you at all. I hope that these 10 tips for starting a new job help you to calm your nerves and help you start with your very best foot forward.
If you are still trying to figure out if you should leave your current job maybe check out my article on 13 signs it is time to quit your job.