The Survival Guide to the First Week in your New Job
First impressions count when you start a new job, so make sure that the weekend celebrations over your new job, stop long before Monday morning.
It can be a nervous time, when you want to be merging gradually into your new environment and not sticking out like a sore thumb. So, here's our simple guide to getting the first few days right...
Getting to work
- DO NOT be late on your first day.
- This journey maybe unfamiliar to you, especially during morning rush hour, so preparation is the key.
- You will have ideally carried out a trial run one morning the previous week, to assess the flow of traffic and give yourself every chance of predicting journey time.
- Check for traffic jams/road closures/train delays before you set off.
- If you are going to be late, make sure you call ahead and inform the company.
- If you arrive too early, don't worry. It will give you time to relax and grab a coffee before it all starts.
Who are you seeing?
- Who are you due to ask for on day one?
- Do you know what time you are set to start?
- Do you know the address you are working (if the company has more than one site)?
- Many larger firms have strict security policies. You maybe expected to meet with a Security Officer initially to go over procedure.
- Make sure you know before hand if any information is required, such as ID or a couple of photo's for a security card.
- You should have been provided with a P45 by your previous employer. This details what you have earned in the current tax year along with tax paid to-date.
- Take this along with you on day one and give it to the Payroll or Accounting Departments.
Something to keep you busy
- Often your job will require you to "get stuck in" with immediate effect. However, if it's a slow burner or perhaps it's your first job, you can expect some "down time" when you could be left twiddling your thumbs.
- Take a book or magazine with you to work - perhaps a leading industry publication. This will make you appear organised and prevent you being seen as idle or a little lost.
Personalise your space
- It's usually acceptable to allow a little personalisation around your work space.
- Bringing in a couple of family photos or something personal will make you feel comfortable and at ease early on.
- You will obviously be meeting a number of new people when you start. Learning names is very important - not only to make you feel part of your new surroundings but also to let people see you are really making the effort.
- Focus on putting a name to the face in the early days as getting names wrong after week 2 is not ideal!
Ease into the social scene
- At the end of your first week, it may be common for the team to go for drinks.
- Be aware of your behaviour during the early social stages. You don't know these people yet and the wrong thing may be said to the wrong person.
- Wait until you have stronger relationships before opening your heart to them.