Starting a new job?

5 important things to keep in mind…

If you are about to start a new job, there are a few things you should be aware of to make sure you are putting your best foot forward in the first few days. Starting out right and making a good first impression could also make a big difference to your reputation within the workplace down the line!

  1. Good first impression. Follow the usual rules of thumb for making a good first impression, such as dressing appropriately etc. as per this article on interview etiquette
  2. Be humble, respectful and open to guidance. No one wants to hear from a new starter (especially on their first day) “In my last job we did it like this…”, be humble and receptive to new ideas and methods. Also make sure you are not speaking badly about your former employer – some industries are relatively small, and you never know who knows who and word could easily spread about what you have been saying
  3. Stay out of gossip. By all means get to know your co-workers, however, keep the conversations focused on work and small talk rather than speculating about people or situations and asking personal questions that may not be considered appropriate for a new employee to ask. Use your lunch times to your advantage to get to know your colleagues
  4. Be grateful and prove yourself. Accept that you are going to need to put in the work to prove yourself and ‘do time’ before any requests for pay rises, changes to schedules and negotiating benefits are going to be warmly received. Your first review might be the perfect opportunity to have such discussion, but until then refrain from making demands
  5. Be observant of ‘the norm’. If you pay close attention to others in the workplace you will quickly be able to work out what ‘the norm’ is. To help you fit in well, particularly over the first few days, it will pay to try and follow this norm. This might include the company culture around start/finishing times. If everyone leaves at 5pm on the dot, then you can follow, however sometimes you will find that even though the ‘official’ end time is 5pm, everyone stays until at least 5.30pm. It’s better to take a cautious approach to your first couple of weeks.


Mark Douglas

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