Starting A New Job
Your first day at a new company signals the end of a long, and often stressful, process. You’ve spent a lot of time perfecting your CV and Linked in profile, as well as searching for jobs and attending interviews. Now, it’s time to reap the rewards. But this isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Create A Great First Impression
It doesn’t matter whether you’re the most confident person in the world, or a born worrier – first day nerves are likely to kick in. The Headway team understand this completely. We’ve all experienced starting a new job for the first time and we help our candidates have a successful start in their new jobs on a daily basis.
From the tactical to the practical, here’s our tips for creating a great first impression at your new place of work.
Ask questions prior to your start date.
Before you embark on lengthy preparation and background reading, why not contact your new employer and ask if there’s anything specific that you should be doing? Not only does this show initiative, it gives your new employer the opportunity to get you up to speed and ready to go in terms of the projects you’ll be working on.
There’s no such thing as a stupid question. When you start a new job, if you don’t have questions, then something’s not quite right. Don’t try to negotiate things you know nothing about, when asking a colleague could really help. Your new workmates will probably relish the chance to show you their knowledge, and this is the way to naturally establish who your mentors will be moving forward.
It’s likely that your new employer has a plan for your first days and weeks with the company. Make sure that you know what’s expected of you, and where you should be and when.
If you’ve been in the world of work before, then you’ll likely have your own means and methods of getting things done. Be mindful though that your way of doing things may not be the same as your new employers. Be prepared to be flexible and adaptable in this regard.
As with all things, good communication is key. In fact, your new employer probably read all about your exemplary communication skills on your CV, so now’s the perfect time to demonstrate them. Take the time to understand what your employer needs from you day to day, that’s the best way to ensure that you get off to a great start.
It’s also not a bad idea to have a conversation with your line manager about how communication between you should happen. Hopefully there’ll be an open door policy, but there may be times when email is more appropriate.
Get your bearings and be prepared!
Make sure that you confirm where you’re meant to be and at what time. It’s also worth finding out in advance the name of the person you’re meant to report to. There’s nothing worse than aimlessly wandering the corridors of a new place of work and not knowing who to ask for – it doesn’t make for a good first day.
Whatever you do, don’t be late. Plan your journey, do a practice run during rush hour, whatever it takes for you to be on time. Being late will only serve to make any first day jitters ten times worse. Once at work, take the opportunity to look around your new office. Figure out where the toilets are, where the kitchen is and of course, the location of the photocopier.
Plan your outfit.
This sounds superficial, but it’s not. Dressing appropriately will ensure that you feel confident in yourself, and will make a great first impression with colleagues and management alike. In addition, having your clothes picked out and ironed will save you time on the morning of your first day.
Don’t forget your documents.
Even if they’ve not been requested, anything you think you might be asked for, take with you. A form of photo ID, National Insurance Number, bank details – these are all things that might be requested during your first days and weeks.
Settling Into a New Team
When you start a new job, the first few days are important when it comes to making a good impression and settling in. Yes, you’ve got to get the job done, pass your probation period and impress your new employer, but there’s something else that’s just as important – settling into your new team.
It’s vital for any employee to feel comfortable among their colleagues. For some, this will happen immediately, for others it will take a bit of time. Worry not though. Here’s some advice from Headway on how to make new friends, and settle into your new team.
Be pleasant – to everyone.
You’re going to meet lots of new people when you start your new job. There’ll be many names and many faces. Introduce yourself to everyone. Whether it’s your superior, or the nice lady from the canteen – be affable and friendly to all.
Get to know everyone.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a full blown lunch, drinks after work, or a quick chat in the car park – get to know people. A bit of small talk, some light banter – it all goes a long way to helping you settle in and make friends.
Never, ever, bad mouth your predecessor.
It might be that your predecessor left things in a complete mess. It might be that there are no handover notes and a draw-full of personal effects that don’t belong to you. Being openly critical of the employee who went before you is treading dangerous ground. You don’t want to be mid rant when you discover that your predecessor is related to Tracy from accounts. Just don’t do it.
Show some initiative.
Ask questions? Yes. Seek help when you need it? Yes. Show initiative? Definitely, yes. Your colleagues are likely to be busy (you’ll be joining them in that respect soon enough), so always make the effort to solve problems yourself. Do some research, try looking up the answer to your questions. If, after that, you still need assistance, then talk to your colleagues. The fact that you’ve made the effort will go a long way.
In addition, be sure to tell your team when you’re at capacity, and when you can take on more work. This will help your colleagues to allocate work accordingly and improve the way you work as a team.
Make a round of tea.
Need we say more? We’re in Yorkshire, the likelihood is that making your team a brew will go down a storm and earn you massive brownie points in the process. If you work in a large team, all we can say is make a list – you could potentially undo all your sound efforts with a spoonful of sugar in the wrong cup.
When you start a new job, there’s a lot to think about. Stay calm, be prepared and don’t let it overwhelm you. Always keep in mind that you were given the job for a reason, and that come home time, you’ll likely be leaving with a smile on your face.
At Headway, we always like to go the extra mile to help our candidates settle into their new employment. It’s why we provide our clients with the management tools they need to nurture their new recruits so that everything runs seamlessly from day 1 and beyond. To find out more about how we can help make your first day a success, contact Headway now.