Any new job can make you feel nervous and apprehensive, but your first week should be an exciting time full of learning opportunities. Our top tips to your first week should help you feel settled.
It’s natural to feel nervous before the first week in any job, regardless of where you are in your career. From your very first professional role through to a promotion at a later stage of your career, every step can present challenges, particularly when it comes to your first week in the office. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite tips to help ensure the transition from study to work is as smooth as possible.
Here’s how you can make a good impression and an even better start in your new job.
Whether you suffer from first-week jitters or not, being prepared will undoubtedly make things easier. Much of this preparation should be around the impression you’ll make on your colleagues and employers on your first day. Nearly 75% of UK adults make an initial judgement of a person within one minute of meeting them, according to a 2016 First Impressions study, so you’ll want to put your best foot forward. Timeliness is key for your first week – make sure you have reliable transport to and from work and know exactly where you’re going (and when you need to arrive). Plan your outfits for the entire week and ensure they’re clean and tidy in order to save you time later down the track. Finally, if you’re bringing your own device, check that it’s ready for the IT department to add to the network and set up your email.
Look the part
Hopefully you’ve gained an impression of the dress code during the interview process, but if you didn’t, speak to your manager or HR advisor before you start to ask what’s expected. If you’re in doubt about your outfit selection, err on the side of caution and opt for something smart, discreet and in line with a business casual theme. You’ll want to be remembered for your friendly, can-do attitude during this first week, not your inappropriate outfits.
Arrive early and don’t be the first to leave
While your new colleagues will likely be friendly and welcoming, they will also be observing you closely. This means they will notice any faux pas such as arriving late or leaving too early. Give yourself a buffer of time when you arrive at the office in the morning, and observe when your team mates leave work at the end of the day – aim to head off at the middle point, as staying too late may set the precedent that you will work overtime every day. Before you leave, ask your manager if they have anything else that needs doing.
Write down your colleagues’ names and functions
Ideally, your new workplace will provide you with a list or map of the functions within your office and who works where. If not, create your own to refer back to. You’ll not only gain favour with your colleagues if you remember their names and what you do, but this information may be vital down the track when you need to collaborate with team members or seek assistance from someone in a different department to you.
Ask for a tour
You need to know layout of your workplace – including where the kitchen and bathrooms are, as well as meeting rooms and guest car parks – so if your supervisor doesn’t volunteer for a tour, ask for one. Take note of where departments that will be relevant for your work (such as IT and HR) are.
Even if you have responsibilities at home, it’s wise to think ahead and keep some evenings free during this initial period in a new job – particularly Friday evenings. Your new colleagues will want to socialise with you and there may be the opportunity to go for after-work drinks on your first Friday, so make the most of this opportunity to not only establish rapport, but show you’re a team player. Studies show that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%, so being friendly with your co-workers will inevitably make you happier at work.
While you want to be friendly and convivial, being social doesn’t mean you have to engage in gossip. Avoid getting involved in office politics at all times, but especially in this first week.
Take time for yourself
Your first week can feel quite overwhelming and exhausting, and there will be a lot to take in and digest. Make sure you reserve some ‘you time’ outside of work hours to help recharge your batteries and ensure you arrive at work feeling fresh and ready for action.
Above all else, remember to relax, smile and enjoy yourself in this first week. It’s an exciting time for any new starter and you’ll feel settled and confident before you know it.
If you’re looking to take the first step in your career, Kelly Services may have the perfect role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities here.