Starting A New Job? Here’s What To Expect
Starting a new job can be a daunting experience. Will they like me? Will I like them? Am I up to the job? Have I done the right thing? So many different thoughts can whirl around your head before you even enter your new working environment.
Apprehension is of course normal, but we’re here to allay some common fears and hopefully reduce your worries by outlining some of the things you can expect…
Where am I?
You’ve walked through the door and have no idea what to do or where to go next. The most important thing to remember is not to worry. Your colleagues will be aware it’s your first day and so will be more than happy to tell you where you can make coffee, hang your coat and where the toilets are.
Remember everyone in the office has been the newbie at some point, so your colleagues will know that in order to get good work out of you and help you feel relaxed, they should be readily available to help you settle in and teach you the ropes.
Fear 1: Everyone will ignore me!
Of course they won’t. Most will be happy to help and many will have a chat with you to introduce themselves and find out a little more about you. Some of these ‘strange’ people could become really good friends later on.
At some point on your first day, you’ll be taken for a tour of the office/building and introduced to many people. This is your first chance to meet everyone who you’ll be working with or running into during your working day.
Don’t worry if you can’t remember everybody’s name or what they do, most people understand that and won’t be annoyed if you say something like: “I’m sorry I can’t quite remember you name” or “Can you remind me what you do again?” later on, in fact they expect it. It was what they did in their first week after all.
Fear 2: I’m never going to remember who’s who and what they do, they’ll think I’m an idiot!
No they won’t, in your first weeks you will forget names and what people do. Just try to remember the people immediately important to your job first. Another top tip is to do a map of the office, you can put people’s names and what they do on the map and that will help you find where they are in the office.
Meet your line manager
If you are part of a team, you will meet your line manager, someone you will work with on a daily basis. This is a good time to ask them questions about your responsibilities and what they expect of you. They will help you settle in and maybe sort out things like computer logins, email access etc.
Once you’re up and running, your line manager will run through some work with you and get you started on something. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at this point so you can familiarise yourself with your duties and how the company does things.
Fear 3: I won’t have a clue what I’m supposed to do and will be left alone to get on with it!
Your first week will be about learning the ropes and your new colleagues will be on hand to offer help and advice, as well as answer your questions so don’t panic about that.
Forms, forms and more forms!
You’ve just started and so HR and other people will probably bombard you with forms to fill in. Don’t worry, these are easy to fill in, but important. On your first day make sure you have a note of your National Insurance number and your bank details as this information will come in handy.
Usually you are sent your contract of employment by post or email beforehand, and so this is also good time to hand that in when you have signed and checked it. You will also be presented with forms outlining company policies and often invited to join a company pension scheme. Don’t worry you will have time to think about the latter before you commit.
Find out the dress code of the workplace before your first day and stick to it. The company has set it up for a reason and won’t appreciate it if you come in wearing a mini skirt and dangly earrings or jeans and a t-shirt if that isn’t allowed in the dress code.
Make sure you look neat and tidy too, no unwashed hair, gravy stains or chipped nails if you can help it. Many employers take your photograph on the first day for a company ID card or for personalised emails, so this is another reason to look your best.
Fear 4: If I wear a suit, other people will think I’m square!
This is highly unlikely unless company policy expressly states no suits. On the first day it’s better to be safe than sorry and to be a bit overdressed than under dressed.
Now there’s nothing else to say but good luck on your first day!
By Justin Stevens is regular contributor to Nursing Standard and Totaljobs. He has worked for a wide variety of publishing titles and websites as a freelance editor and writer, ranging from the Times Educational Supplement to OK! via the Sunday Times, The Observer and Brand Republic.