Congratulations you’ve finally landed that dream job - hopefully.
Getting there wasn’t easy. You had to get your resume up to scratch, search high and low for the right opportunity and then write the perfect cover letter. Your interview went well and now it turns out all the hard work was worth it because you've been offered the job. Even though you’ve got the hardest part over with, you probably still feel nervous about your new job, especially if it is your first job. The start date is approaching and there are butterflies in your stomach.
Here's what you need to do in your first week of a new job:
Get to Know Your New Job Practicalities
Dealing with nerves when you are starting a new job can be a challenge, but there are some practical things that will help you.
- Give yourself time between the end of your last job and the start of your new one if you can.
- Tell yourself that it is only natural to feel nervous. Nerves can sometimes optimise performance so try to welcome them rather than fight them.
- Organise work outfits that are going to be comfortable, smart and make a good impression. Lay these out each night before you go to bed.
- Make travel arrangements carefully. Rehearse and time your commute and investigate parking options.
- Give yourself a break. You will have a lot to take in so aim to have a short break, away from other people each day.
- If you find initial conversations difficult then plan some icebreaker questions you can ask when you first meet people.
Get to Know Your New Job Personalities
As you start your new job you’ll be meeting new people and forming new opinions. You’ll also be trying to make a good impression. This can be a challenge especially if it is your first job; don’t try too hard to please. You should aim to get to know a few names, don’t be afraid to write these down, and take the first steps towards building helpful relationships. There are a few key things that you can do to ensure you start to establish those all important work connections:
- Be punctual, it is far better to arrive early than to annoy people by making them wait for you.
- Arrive with a positive attitude. Even if you’re nervous try to remember how excited you were when you were offered your new job.
- Demonstrate your willingness to take on tasks and join in with team activities.
- Make an effort to find out about people. Don’t ask personal questions but show an interest.
- Don’t get involved in office politics. This is a good general rule but it is particularly important for that first week.
- Even if you think you know a lot about your new job, don’t make yourself annoying by being a know-it-all. You will have plenty of time to share your expertise in the coming weeks.
Get to Know Your New Job Responsibilities
It is unlikely that you will be given any ultra-important tasks to complete during your first week. You do however need to use this time to find out exactly what your responsibilities are going to be and what expectations management will have of you. You might be asked during this first week to read company policy documents, familiarise yourself with online systems and complete paperwork. You will have a lot on your mind but don’t be tempted to miss out these tasks, they will save you work later on and you’ll impress your new colleagues if you keep up to speed from the word go.
Never be tempted to pretend that you know how to complete a task when you don’t. This will only put you under pressure and lead to a poor result. Your new colleagues were also new once and they won’t mind explaining a task twice should that be necessary. Make notes about instructions if you need to.
As well as understanding and accepting new responsibilities, it is important during this first week to show some initiative. If you have ideas that you think are relevant be prepared to share them but use language that shows you understand your ‘newbie’ status. If you aim to help rather than impress, you should get the tone right.
Above all you should try to make sure that you enjoy your first week in your new job. You have studied, worked and searched hard to get it and when you reach that first weekend, you deserve to be able to look back with a smile and forward with a sense of excitement. Remember that first week nerves are natural and that once you settle into your new career you will forget all about them.
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