We've got an insightful and in-depth guide for you from a guest writer, Ben Brumm, founder of Complete IT Professional. Ben shares his experiences and advice for those just starting out on their career path. Feel free to comment and let us know what you think!
You're about to start a new job. This is a very exciting time! Whether this is your first job overall, or your first full-time job since finishing a degree, it's important to start it in the right way and set a good impression for your new employer. I've highlighted five tips for the first day of your new job in this article.
Get Enough Rest the Night Before
To be effective from the start of your new job, you need to be focused. One of the best ways of ensuring this is to get enough rest the night before.
When you get a good sleep the night before your first day, you'll feel refreshed in the morning. You'll find it easier to focus, you'll be more positive, and you'll look better too, as you won't have bags under your eyes!
This may be easier said than done. You might be someone who stays up late at night. You might like to watch TV for a while before sleeping. Or, you might be nervous and excited before your first day. This is pretty common. They can all make it harder to get a good night's rest the night before.
However, because it's important to do, I would suggest adjusting your routine a little on the night before you start your job. If you start on a Monday, then this would apply to Sunday night. Some suggestions are: • Have a healthy dinner. You'll sleep better and feel better in the morning. • Don't stay up too late. Make sure you get a good amount of sleep. • Don't go out and get too drunk on the Saturday night. Even though it's two days before, it can affect your Sunday and sometimes your Monday. • Prepare what you need to take on Sunday. You don't want to be rushed on Monday morning on your first day, trying to think of what you need to bring.
If you focus on getting enough rest the night before, it should have a big impact on your first day on the job.
Remember Names and Roles
Once you get to work on your first day, you're going to meet a lot of people. This is the fun part - you get to find out who people are, what they do at the company, and how they might work with you and your team.
The hard part is actually remembering all of this. This is harder if you work in a big office or a big company. You might meet twenty people on the first day. Remembering names, roles, and faces can seem pretty hard, especially as its your first day and your first job, and may not be something you've done before.
I would recommend writing down what you learn and who you meet. Writing information down really helps with memory, both in the short term, and as a reference for later. If you forgot who someone was, you can look at your list and be reminded.
Don't write down their name or details when you meet them or when you're speaking to them. Save it for when you've finished the introduction, when you walk away or go back to your desk. If you have a few names to write down, write them down soon before you forget.
Write down their name, position, what they work on, or anything else they tell you.
Doing this now can help you when you start doing your work.
Take a Lot of Notes
Starting at a new job means a lot of learning. There are so many things to learn, it might seem overwhelming. Some of the things you might need to know are: • What your team does • How tasks are done at the moment • Procedures for getting access to things • Regular meetings or events that happen • Where things are in the workplace • The names of any systems or tools and what they are used for • Things you need to do or organise on your first day
So, wherever you go on your first day, take a pen and paper and write notes. Don't be afraid to write things down. It can be pretty overwhelming at the start, with all the things you are told and need to learn. In my current role as a software consultant, I change clients every year or two. Each time, I need to meet new people, work at different companies, and learn an entirely new way of doing things. Writing notes really helps.
It can also be useful if you have any downtime to go back and review your notes, and come up with any questions you might have. Which brings us to the next point.
As this is your first day on the new job, you'll probably have lots of questions. You'll want to know how things work, what you should be doing, and specific questions about your work.
This is a good thing.
I don't believe there is such a thing as a stupid question, as I'd rather ask a question than make a bad mistake.
So, don't be afraid to ask questions, or ask for some clarity on a question you've asked before. The person you're asking has probably heard the question before. They will also understand that it's your first day, and that you are learning about the company and will have lots of questions.
The best way I think to ask them is in-person. It shows you're committed to learning and working on your communication skills in-person. It can be tempting to put them in an email, but I've found emails with long lists of questions often don't get answered.
Set Up Your Environment
At your new job, you'll probably have your own area to work in. This is the case if you're working in an office. There are some jobs where you don't have a space to call your own, if you're a waiter for example.
If you do have your own space, I would suggest taking some time to set it up how you like. This would include: • Organising your desk to make it work for you • Making sure your area is clean and tidy • Setting up your computer the way you like, such as folders and shortcuts (if you have a computer) This should be done within reason, though. You shouldn't be installing any extra programs on your computer, as the IT policy may not let you. You might also not be able to add everything you want to your desk, but the idea is just to organise it to see what works for you.
This will hopefully improve your productivity at work and help you get things done easier. It's also something you can do while you're waiting for some work from your manager or co-workers. Doing it now will help you in the long run.
If you're about to start a new job, these five tips can help you have the best start possible on your first day, which will help you as your job progresses.
BIO: Ben Brumm is the founder of Complete IT Professional, which provides career advice and programming tips for software developers. Ben is a software consultant based in Australia and has almost ten years’ experience in the IT industry, and enjoys sharing his experiences on Complete IT Professional.