Helping you into work

Tips for starting a new job

Leave your baggage behind. Starting a new job is an opportunity for reinvention. People don’t know you, creating a positive perception is easier than changing a negative one. Be on time, have a positive attitude, get involved and dress for the job without overdoing it. Your employer will be making a judgment about your potential from day one.

Expect a bit of job drift

Don’t worry if the job isn’t exactly as sold, Job candidates are not the only ones talking themselves up at an interview; employers also put a positive spin on things.

Use your honeymoon wisely

In your first few weeks make notes about even the most rudimentary things, ask questions and ask for help if you need it. No one should mind you asking questions but asking the same question over and over is irritating. Also, write down people’s names and what they do. Remembering someone makes that person feel important – and they also remember you. Clarify any instruction or expectation that is unclear to you.

Good house keeping

Keep hold of your job description it is an important document that you can use during your probationary period. Keep emails of praise from your manager, co-workers, clients or others.

Don’t rush to make friends

Be slow to judge. That seemingly rude person could just be shy while that sweet, helpful person might not be. Avoid cliques, sharing confidences, commenting on co-workers. Take your time getting to know people. If there are after hours social activities, try to go along and try to make connections outside your immediate team. Lots of people are able to help you do your job - the receptionist, IT help desk, boss’ PA to name a few.

Finding the right performance balance

It is easy to get frustrated by your dependence on others in a new job so you need to be patient with yourself. It might take 6 months before you know enough about the organisation to be really effective. Likewise if you don’t like the job after a few days be patient, your team are also trying to get used to having you around. Some jobs might need you up and running within days so you do need to perform and as soon as you can. However, it is better to take a bit of time and make a few little mistakes along the way than rush in and make huge mistakes.

Honour the past

If you are a manager then you might well have been hired to bring in new ideas and set a fresh direction and that could re-energise your team. However, find out what has worked and what hasn’t before and involve your new team in the reasons behind any change and involve them in planning for, change. You are setting yourself up to fail if you start to make changes without consultation or support from those around you. A boss sets the strategy but everyone else must then execute that strategy. You don’t want saboteurs and naysayers around you.