Preparing for Your New Job and First Day Tips

We know that the first day at a new job is a nerve-wracking time for anyone. You are entering a new environment filled with people you have probably never met before. You don’t know how they will react to you and you are nervous that you may not fit in or be able to meet the expectations your new employers have of you.

These feelings are perfectly normal but you can alleviate some of the pressure by taking a few simple steps.

Do more research on the company

You should already know a something about your new employers from when you applied for the job but before taking up your new appointment it is a good idea to do some extra research. Go through the company’s website again and relearn about its history, what it is up to now, senior management personnel and its culture. Find any online articles and publications you may have missed. If it is a public company, read the annual and quarterly reports, financial press releases, and management information circulars. You may be able to find some employee profiles that will give you a better idea about the people you may meet.

Scan social media

You can use social networking sites like LinkedIn to gain more information. Your new employer will most likely have profile pages and you may be able to connect with some staff through these. This will help break down some of those initial barriers by sending an introductory note in advance of your start date. It may also be possible to drop in on your new workplace before you start work, which will help you get to know a few of your future co-workers personally before your first day and will make your entrance that much easier.

Read the book The First 90 days

The difference between success and failure is often determined in the first 90 days. The First 90 Days is a road map for taking charge quickly and effectively during critical career transition periods. Michael Watkins identifies the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and provides the tools and strategies you need to avoid them. You’ll learn how to secure critical early wins, an important first step in establishing yourself in your new role.

Take a holiday

If possible take a week or a few days off between jobs. This will give you the opportunity to clear your head and refresh yourself for the new challenge ahead. It will also allow you to evaluate your performance in your old job and decide changes that you would like to make in your work habits. A new job is a new start and you have the chance to revaluate how you want to approach your new work.

Dress the part

On day one be sure that you are appropriately dressed. As a newcomer, you do not want to stand out by being over-dressed or too casual. If you are not sure, smart casual is usually a safe option. Hopefully, your earlier research will have given you some idea of what to wear. Make sure you look on brand and reflect the corporate style day one.

Expect and ask to be properly onboarded

Before day one, make sure you know where you should be day one and who you will meet. Ask for a training schedule in advance. On arrival, your new manager or other supervisors will probably greet you. They will find someone to show your around an introduce you to your new team members. You may be placed in under somebody’s wing till you learn the ropes, or put into a formal training process. If you are not given a mentor, then ask for one.

Make a good impression from the get-go

We see people focus too much on the technical job skills and not enough on the company’s culture. Build key relationships early. Ask your boss, “Who is it critical that I get to know?” And then invite those people to coffee or lunch and pick their brains. You want to have support at all levels.

After a few months, you will be wondering why you were so worried. You will be working well and will have made hopefully built great working relationships along the way.