So you’ve managed to bag yourself a great new job.
Congratulations! The tough bit’s over… or is it?
With your first day swiftly approaching, you may start to feel just a little bit nervous, a little bit underprepared and a little bit hesitant.
Do something about it!
There are ways to prepare yourself before you even set foot through the door.
Let’s take a look at nine of them…
1. Plan your outfit
There is nothing worse than walking into the office on your first day and realising that you’re outrageously underdressed.
You’re bound to feel a little uncomfortable and it’s not going to look great to your new employers either.
So, I always recommend planning your first day outfit early.
During the interview you may have been able to pick up on the office dress code, but if not, all you have to do is drop a line to your new boss (or any other contact you might have) and ask!
This will take the pressure off you to make a decision.
Alternatively, if the company are heavily-involved in social media, you might be able to check out their profile and see what kinds of things employees wear. Or you could check out the “About Us” page of their website.
Recruiter Pro Tip It’s always better to appear too smart than too casual (at least it looks like you care). And during your first week, it’s important to keep up that effort, even if others around you don’t. Remember, you’re still trying to make a good impression, your co-workers have (probably) already proved themselves. If you’d like some more tips on how to dress to impress in the office, click here to check out a helpful infographic from T.M.Lewin.
If you look good, you’ll feel good so why not go splurge on a whole new outfit?
2. Stalk your co-workers (online)
Your first day in the office is going to be a blur of names, rules, roles and regulations.
So to give yourself a bit of a head start so you can fit into the team that little bit easier, it’s always a good idea to do some research, before you start.
Using LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter, get to know the kinds of people you’ll be working with, their names (if possible), roles and the kind of company culture you’ll be entering.
This will just help you to remember more on the day, adapt your behaviour to impress other people and come across well-informed and perceptive.
NB: make sure your LinkedIn profile is on anonymous or you might come across a bit eager!
3. Research the company
You should have done some research about the company, prior to your interview.
It’s a good idea to go over it again, familiarising yourself with the company, industry and what your job actually entails.
Also, if you have any questions, it’s a good idea to get them off your chest during the first week (without going completely overboard of course).
This will help you to look and feel confident, knowledgeable and prepared.
4. Ask your boss
It’s always a good idea to email your new boss, prior to your start date and ask them what they’re expecting from you in your first week.
- Is there anything they’d like you to bring?
- Any preparation or research they’d like you to do?
- What kind of things will you even be doing?
If you get some things done, prior to your first week at work, then your initial workload won’t be as overwhelming – and your boss is bound to be dead impressed.
So, do you finish your current job on a Friday and start the new one on Monday?
Don’t go too wild over the weekend, for goodness sake!
You really don’t want to be feeling tired, worn-out (or on the bitter end of a two-day hangover) on your first day. It’s just going to make you feel more anxious and sluggish.
Instead, taking a nice, relaxing weekend will rejuvenate you and put you in great spirits.
6. Prepare some light conversation
“Weather’s bad today… isn’t it?” *Shudders.*
OK, I know this might seem a little bit overboard, but if you’re not a naturally chatty person, then that scary, awkward small-talk when you first meet someone can be a nightmare.
So, why not practice?
Think about the kinds of things that will make you seem interested and interesting (try to avoid all conversation about the weather).
Click here for some tips on how to become the King or Queen of small talk.
7. Practice the commute.
On your first day, you really want to be arriving between 15 and 30 minutes early.
You’ll look committed, prompt and it will give you chance to settle in and say your “hellos” before the working day commences.
Of course, traffic, train delays and/or unforeseen circumstances could all affect your journey, so I recommend practicing your commute before you actually start.
Even better, practice it at the time you would normally be going to work (so you know what the traffic or trains are like at that time – and you don’t get lost).
8. Bring stationery
One would hope that your new company will be well prepared with all the stationery and equipment you need to get your job done.
But you never know.
So I always advise new-starters to take the most important things with them like pens, a pad of paper and a calculator (if you need it).
9. Enjoy yourself
My final piece of advice for you..? Enjoy the transition!
During those first few weeks, you actually have a little leeway to make mistakes, act clueless and generally just settle in… so what is there to panic about?
In a year’s time, you’ll look back and think all of your fears were silly.
For some great tips on how to mentally prepare yourself for work, click here.
Of course, now that you’ve done all the pre-first-day prep, it’s time to think about the day itself!
There are a number of things that will smooth things along and help you to make a great impression.
Click here to find out what they are.
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Starting a new job is a scary time for the best of us. Take these tips on board and you'll put yourself in the best possible position to make your new job start with a bang.