Congratulations on your new job! Here’s that GIF of Kermit the frog going wild to help you celebrate. It’s a big deal to get a new job, especially if it’s in another country or a different industry. Changing jobs can be a big upheaval in your life, and a period of excitement, nerves, fear and anticipation, all at once.
So we thought we’d share our advice for starting a new job—including how to prepare for your first day, and what to do when you get there.
When they offer you the job
They’ve just got in touch to say “YOU’RE SIMPLY THE BEST”, or “We’d like to offer you the job”. The HR team’s preparing the contract, your new manager’s happy and you’re probably still dizzy from relief, excitement, nerves, the stress of job-hunting or a combination of all four. Now’s the time to…
People tell us to “play it cool” in so many areas of life, but accepting a job should not be one of them. As long as the company offers you what you want, you should say yes as soon as possible. This will show them your eagerness and reliability—and, the sooner you start, the sooner you get your first payslip and the more quickly your career can take off.
Do your research
You probably researched the role for your interview, ready for questions. But you might not have researched the company or the people who work there. Now’s the time to get to know who you’ll be working with. What do they do? Where are they from? How long have they worked there? It’s a great conversation starter, especially if you have something in common.
The interviewer or the HR team can tell you who you’ll be working with, and ask if you can meet the team in advance. If you’re given the job instantly while you’re still in your interview, firstly THAT’S AMAZING WELL DONE and secondly, the interviewer might take you around the site so you can introduce yourself.
Too shy to ask? See if your colleagues are on LinkedIn—the most popular professional social network for the working world. It’s a bit corporate and office job-focused, so if you’re in creative or manual work, you might not find them there. But it’s worth a try.
A few days before
Do some laundry
Get yourself, and your wardrobe, in the right mindset—choose what you’re going to wear in advance. And if it’s a uniform, check if it fits and if they’ve given you everything you’ll need. The last thing you want on the morning of your new job is to be running around looking for a left shoe!
Tell your family and friends that you’ve got a new job! It’ll be something uplifting for them to hear, and someone saying “good luck” to you is a real nerve-buster. You’ll channel their positive vibes into a positive start at your new job. Plus, this energy will keep you going throughout the day, and you’ll look forward to calling your family and friends to let them know how your first day went.
Do meal prep for the week ahead. You’ll probably be tired from the intensity of a new job and all the information you’ll be taking in. Use your free time in the days before to do some cooking, so when you come home in your first week at the job, you can simply reheat the pre-prepared food and put your feet up.
One tip, though—avoid eating food you’ve not tried before. The last thing you want when you’re settling into a new job is to be running to the bathroom every 10 minutes!
The morning of
Have your favourite breakfast
Start on a relaxing note—wake up early and give yourself enough time to have a filling, healthy and delicious breakfast. Read the news on your phone or do a couple of quick chores or tasks (like sending money to your family). And talk to people, whether it’s your newborn baby or the postman—you need to wake your brain up and get your mouth moving before you get to work!
Beat the traffic
Aim to arrive early. It’s obvious, right? But there’s so much that could delay you—your kids outright refusing to go to school, spilling coffee on your white top, traffic jams full of angry people, etc. Being on time is key to making a good first impression. Plus, a few relaxing minutes helps you compose yourself, nip to the bathroom, grab a drink and get mentally prepared. Being in a rush creates stress, which prevents you from showing your best self. Starting your first day on a negative note could impact how you feel about the job.
When you arrive
Ask about your tasks
When you arrive, familiarise yourself with your surroundings. Ask someone where the bathroom is, where the kitchen is, where you’ll be spending most of your time and where your manager will be. Find out if there are any essential tasks to do besides your actual job—like clocking in and out when you arrive and leave, tidying stuff away in a certain place, or switching off lights. As we say in English, you’ll be part of the furniture in no time!
Look for opportunities
Most importantly, adopt a positive mindset. Think about how every task you do and every person you meet while in this new job could be opening up new horizons for you. It could grow your social network, shape you as a person, develop your skills or help you build new ones. You’re not just working for someone else—you’re working for yourself.