Starting a new job is an incredibly exciting experience! You’re both excited about the new opportunity, as well as all the new people you’re going to meet, the great work you’ll do, and the skills and experiences you’ll soak up.
On the other hand you’re a bit nervous about starting off on the right foot. You want to make a great impression from the get-go, right? So don’t stress. With out 7 step checklist for starting a new job, you’ll be prepared and ready to start kicking goals in no time.
1. Reward Yourself & Celebrate
You’ve just landed a new job…congratulations! The first thing you want to do is celebrate. Organise a special dinner with your family, and even some drinks with friends. This will reinforce your self-esteem, as well as mark the occasion as something to remember. You no doubt worked hard to get this job. You re-worked your resume, you prepared for the job interview, and answered what are sometimes tough job interview questions. And then you became the winning candidate. So treat yourself, and pat yourself on the back for doing the hard work and succeeding.
2. Dive deeper into your company research
Now that you’ve got certainty about the company you’re stepping into, it’s time to step up your research. If you left any stones unturned during your interview preparation, it’s time to finally turn them over. Skim over investor reports, find any press on the company, read some more blogs on their site, and dive deeper into their industry as a whole. One of the best things to do is to start getting a solid idea of who their competitors are, and what the competitive landscape looks like. This is instantly practical knowledge, and will no doubt give you a big leg up as you step into the role.
3. Buy some new clothes
There’s nothing better than starting the first day of a job in some new threads, or in a fresh pair of shoes. Much like we talked about earlier, treating yourself to a few new “celebratory” purchases is definitely in order. It’ll help reinforce that sense of self-esteem and accomplishment. It’s important to celebrate the wins, as this teaches your brain to associate hardwork with a positive reward.
4. Plan how you’re going to get there
The absolute last thing you want to do is arrive late to your new job. So start thinking about how you’re going to travel to and from work well in advance. Don’t spare any details here. Think about:
- What time you want to arrive at work
- What time you need to leave the house
- What time you need to wake up
- Where you’re going to park
- What train/tram/bus you need to catch
- When you need to leave the house to walk or ride to work
- What the road conditions will be like (is it peak hour/school holidays?)
- What possible routes you’re going to take
- Where any delays could occur (from tram crossings/bad intersections/backed up roads)
5. Develop some ideas about what projects you’re excited to work on
By now you already have an idea of the role you’re stepping into, as well as an idea about your stakeholders, and potentially some large projects that are currently in the works. However, there’s a high chance you’re probably still going to have a big learning curve in terms of understanding how the business works, and how your team and department functions. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start brainstorming projects you’d like to explore at this company, as well as skills you’re looking to improve and develop, and the unique value and perspective you’re aspiring to contribute.
6. Ask your boss what time to arrive and if you need to bring anything
I recommend touching base with your boss on the Thursday or Friday of the week before you start. This way you’ll be able to clarify if there’s any further paperwork or documents you need to bring in, or any equipment such as a laptop or tablet. They may also clarify if there’s a particular time they want you to arrive. For example, on the first day of my second dream job I was asked to come in at 9:30AM so that they had time to set up my desk and laptop.
7. Prepare to re-invest in some education
The exciting thing about any new career move is that you’re about to learn a whole new set of skills and perspectives. But the thing is, you don’t yet know what you don’t know. What I mean by this is that you’ll soon discover areas outside of your competency, which you didn’t previously know existed. This is where you need to prepare to skill up, and I always suggest skilling up quickly. So before stepping into your new role, be prepared to re-invest in some new education. This might take the form of online courses, books, seminars, coaching or mentoring, or simply doing some research online. When you come across a knowledge gap in your career, it’s always important to close that gap as quickly as possible.
How To Ease The Anxiety Of Starting A New Job
It’s perfectly understandable that you’ll be anxious and nervous the night before your first day. Remember, this is normal and almost everyone experiences this to some degree. I still remember the night before my first corporate job…I wa awake all night was excitement and nerves. Like, literally, I think I only got a few hours sleep, and I was pretty worn out after my first day. But do you know what? I survived, and so will you. That said, there’s a few things you can do to ease your nerves before starting a new job.
Being prepared is such a fundamental life and career skill. Like we talked about earlier, having your clothing organised the night before, knowing how you’re going to get there and allowing enough time in case things go wrong along the way means you’ll be much more relaxed. Being organised will give you peace of mind, and re-assure you when doubt starts to creep in.
Meditation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it provides a significant benefit to a lot of people. That said, you don’t have to sit in strange poses and do weird breathing techniques to practice meditation. The key is to do something that relaxes you. This could be sitting up straight with your eyes closed and focusing on your breathing, or it could be reading a book, playing a musical instrument, or having a quiet chat with your partner. Whatever relaxes you and puts you in a good mood, do that.
Remember It’s Okay To Be Nervous
You’re a human being, and you’re anxious because this job is important to you. It’s normal to feel this way, so don’t beat yourself up about being nervous, that just makes it worse. Acknowledge and accept that your pent-up energy is just your body’s way of preparing you for peak performance.
What To Expect On The First Day Of Your New Job
No-one is expecting you to roll up on the first day and have all the answers. So you can expect to feel a little out of the loop, a little overwhelmed, and like the new kid at school (because you are). You’ll be on the outside of the inside jokes, all the key projects, as well as some of the lingo and operating procedures. So go in with an open mind. Expect to meet a lot of new people, attend a lot of introductory meetings, and soak up as much as you can.
Do You Need To Bring Anything On Your First Day?
You shouldn’t need to bring much to the first day of your new job. They should provide notebooks, pens, sticky notes, and of course, your laptop/computer, or tablet. All that you should bring is a water bottle, so you can stay hydrated during your first day. Some people get a dry mouth when they get nervous, and during your first day you may be a little nervous, so this can help. Also, you may be required to bring in documentation or paperwork. This could be your employment contract, or even your police check form. So don’t forget to bring these in if required!
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Will Vaughan is the Founder & CEO of Your Career Mastery. He’s dedicated to helping young professionals discover and land the job of their dreams using a mix of proven strategies, tips, tools, and mindsets. He currently works as a Content & SEO manager for a 100 million dollar tech company in Melbourne, Australia.