Written by Katie O’Connell
Congratulations! You got the job! Now begins the information overload.
There are always challenges to face when starting in a new job. Here are my six top tips for making sure you get off to a good start in your new role.
1. Put yourself out there
There is no better time to let your inner extrovert shine than the first day at a new job… be ready to shake hands and kiss baby’s! No matter how overwhelmed you’re feeling it’s important to introduce yourself, your role and what you’ll be doing. This may seem obvious but, depending on the size of the company, some of your colleagues may not be aware of the change within the business.
Use this opportunity to also network with your peers and understand who they are and what they do too. This will come in handy later when you have questions!
2. Take notes – Be a sponge
Your first day in a new position is pretty much guaranteed to see you overwhelmed with an alarming amount of new information. Don’t put extra pressure on yourself by expecting to remember everything you’re told and shown. Take a notebook and WRITE. IT. DOWN. That way when you’re required to do it again, you can consult your notes before having to ask for the explanation again. You’ll be considered the office superhero in no time!!
3. Set boundaries – Don’t over-commit
Balance is a funny thing. Some of us naturally find it and others (myself included) struggle. Performance in the first few months of any job are crucial but it’s equally important that you set a precedent – don’t set an unrealistic expectation for yourself or others.
Work hard, but don’t burn yourself out. Be early, but take a lunch break. Stay late but only if it can’t be left until morning. Remember – if it can wait, don’t stay late!
4. Show initiative
On your first day, don’t be the deer in the headlights! Remember you’ve been hired based on your skills and expertise. This role is yours because you were the best fit. Remember that and don’t doubt yourself. Now is your chance to jump right in! Timidity has no place here.
Ask questions, offer to help and don’t turn down assistance or advice. Be seen as a team player who will fill in the gaps of their peers. And please, please, don’t just sit there waiting for the next instruction.
Another hugely important thing to remember is, even if you hear your colleagues making or taking personal calls, this should be completely off limits for at least your first couple of weeks. Don’t be the new starter constantly on their phone, it seems presumptuous and can rub people the wrong way. It’s important that you show your colleagues you’re here to learn, not just collect a pay cheque!
5. Presentation – Be memorable for the right reasons
HR should have already told you what the dress code is and if they haven’t, find out and stick to it. The first month of work is not the time for you to take liberties with your work wardrobe. Lean towards the conservative side and leave your fashion favourites for the weekend.
Be memorable for the right reasons and remember, presentation is everything from communication to how you dress.
Don’t forget first impressions are everything and details are important. Remove the chipped nail polish, brush your hair and please, iron that shirt!
6. Find the watering holes
Coffee. Lunch. Breaks. Drinks. These are all vital parts of your working week.
Even if you’re familiar with the area, make sure you see the where the locals go. Seek out the best place for coffee, out-of-office meetings and, of course, those much-needed Friday Knockoff drinks! You’ll thank yourself later when you’ve had a long, hard day.
As an added bonus, it’s also a great conversation starter with your new team mates which is always helpful when you’re feeling a bit like a fish out of water.