Preparing to start a new job
Exciting times! You’ve accepted a new opportunity but now what? There may be weeks or months to go until you start, so how do you use this time effectively in preparing for a new job?
Whether you have taken your next step along a career path you know well or are embarking on a whole new adventure, there are plenty of things you can do to make a great first impression and hit the ground running.
A lot will depend on how busy you are and if you are working your notice period, the type of role you’re going into, your level of experience and self-confidence, but whatever your circumstances, there is no doubt that planning and preparation will help to ensure a smooth transition and a successful start.
The following activities will help to set you up for success in your new role:
Do your homework!
You will almost certainly have researched your employer and the role, before you were interviewed for the job and accepted it. However now that you have landed the position, you can afford to invest more time in gaining a deeper understanding of the organisation you’re going to be working for, including, for example, its vision, values, culture, products, services, marketing campaigns, people and customers. These insights will give you a degree of familiarity and confidence before you start, will impress your line manager (if you have one), and put your role into context.
It’s also worth finding out as much as you can about what will be expected of you, studying the specifics of the job description and asking your recruitment consultant or new employer if they can provide any more information about the tasks you will be performing during your first few months. The more you can learn about the expectations and responsibilities of the role, the more empowered you will feel, having identified early on all the areas that you know you’re good at, as well as any that you feel need development.
Reflect on your skills
While researching your new role, any gaps in your knowledge, skills or experience should become apparent. It may be helpful to identify webinars, online courses or other forms of training provision – and if realistic, enrol and attempt to bridge some of the gaps before you start.
This shouldn’t worry you unduly though, as your new employer should have gained a good grasp of your capabilities and competencies through the interview process and many organisations will offer training and development opportunities as well as mentoring after you complete your probationary period.
Map out your commute
If you are going to be working at your new employer’s premises, even if only on an occasional basis, it’s worth planning your commute. It’s a good idea to do a practice run at a relevant time of day, so that you can get a realistic feel for the journey, including any potential public transport issues and traffic congestion. If you’re planning to drive, you may also want to find out about parking arrangements. Planning ahead will help avoid delays and ensure you arrive unflustered and in good time.
Sort out your workspace
For many people, a dedicated workspace and a clear desk signal a fresh start. If you’re going to be working from home at least some of the time, you may as well take the opportunity to have a good sort out. If you’ve worked from home before, you may have all the kit you need but it doesn’t hurt to get on top of your filing, tidy up and check that everything is in place. If you are missing any of the equipment required to do your job effectively, let your new employer know as soon as possible.
Get your paperwork together
You should have been advised of the documents you’ll need provide on your first day, which may include your passport and driver’s license. Having these to hand will give you one less thing to worry about and make you look prepared and professional from the start.
Connect with new colleagues
If possible, try to find ways to connect with future colleagues before you join the organisation. Your new employer may be able to make a few introductions or suggest ways in which you can join team events in advance of your start date. LinkedIn and other social platforms also provide a way to introduce yourself and engage with new team mates. Establishing relationships early on will make your first day less daunting and help you to settle in more quickly.
Re-evaluate your current routine
As you think ahead to your new job and try to envisage a typical working day, consider what adjustments you may have to make to your current routine. If you think you may need a more flexible approach to your working hours or place of work to accommodate commutes, caring responsibilities or other commitments, and haven’t already discussed it, you may want to do so as soon as possible. The more organised you are, the less stressed you will feel in those early weeks and the more likely you’ll be to achieve a healthy work-life balance from the outset.
Find out as much as you can about your first day
To help reduce first day nerves, try to find out as much as you can about the onboarding process. What does it look like and what will be required of you?
If you will be working from home, what log-in details and other information do you need to get started and who will provide these? If you’re expected on site, what time do you need to be there and who do you need to ask for on arrival? Will you be required to attend any meetings and is there a specific dress code to be aware of?
Don’t be afraid to be curious and ask questions. The more you know in advance, the better you can prepare.
Above all else …
Be kind to yourself. Be realistic about how much you can prepare in advance and how much you can achieve in those early days and weeks. No matter how experienced you are, there will undoubtedly be a learning curve and your employer, manager and team mates will understand and expect this.
Allen Associates is here to help!
We are here to support you in the lead up to your first day and throughout your probationary period as you get to grips with your new role, the environment, systems and processes, team and culture.
If you need any advice or support during this period, please contact your recruitment consultant or another member of our team, who will be happy to help.