Day 1 of your new job is fast approaching but so is the stress associated with it! You’ve spent all that time building your resume, networking and prepping for interviews and it should be more relaxed now shouldn’t it? Dont worry! We’re here to help with 5 tips to help you waltz through and start that coming Monday with confidence! And obviously a big cup of coffee 😉
1. Get started before Day 1
- Do preliminary research on the company and the division you will be working for: read up on annual revenue, senior management, company history etc. This way, you’ll show initiative and interest if asked a factual question. Or you can always subtly drop some company knowledge during a conversation and get some brownie points
- Get Admin out of the way: do as much as you can before Day 1, for example fill and submit any online or personal history forms, complete any pre-work required for the job.
- Familiarise yourself with office tools: If possible, find out what email server, chat system etc. your company uses. If for example, Microsoft Outlook is used for emails and you have never used it before, look up some YouTube videos on basic functionalities – how to send meeting invites, how to set up folders etc. This will save valuable time once you’re in the office
2. First impressions really do matter
- Dress to impress: Depending on company culture and geography the dress code will obviously vary but a good rule of thumb is to err on the formal side. Keep heels to a modest height and if you’re like me and commute to work, it’s wise to keep your heels at work so you can comfortably wear your trainers while you commute!
- Minimalism is your friend: I don’t mean to teach grandma how to suck eggs, but keep make-up and jewellery to a minimum, make sure your nails are clean and cut to a decent length, your hair is out of your face, etc. you know the drill
- Arrive early: but not too early! If you show up at 8 am for a 9 am start it’s likely you’ll be waiting in the reception watching pre-caffeinated people trickle in. Arrive 15 mins before you are due to start, you can also ask the person who hired you via email what the best time to arrive is.
- And keep a smile on! Really helps 🙂
3. Be a sponge
- Listen and take copious notes: Its likely that the first few hours / days at a new job will be spent listening in on meetings or attending training sessions, so ensure you are actively listening and taking sufficient notes which you can later refer to. If you have a lot of coffee chats and dont want to take notes while you are informally catching up, a good tip is to capture key points from your meeting and setting a calendar reminder for a follow up as soon as you get back to your desk so you don’t forget anything.
- Go to orientation: Don’t miss this if your company has one. If your company doesn’t have a formal orientation programme, ask your manager if there is any material for new hires you can go through, or if they or someone they could delegate to can give you a tour of the building.
4. Get to know your team
- Learn their names: You are being introduced to a lot of people during your early days and its easy to either forget or mix up names. This is even more pertinent if you are part of a big team or are large-scale graduate scheme / analyst program, or are like me and simply forget names all the time. (Tip: Since I am HORRIBLE at remembering names, I try to remember names by markers or associations: Michael who doesn’t like being called Mike, Shireen who wants to start her own business etc.. Im not kidding it actually works)
- Don’t underestimate the importance of team-culture: Spend some time getting to know your team, go for a team lunch / outing and have 1 on 1 coffee chats. Find out what the “face-time” culture is like, how emails are written, how brainstorming sessions work etc. Take some time to understand how the team works before you make any suggestions for improvement or change.
- Get to know your manager: Find out their communication style and preferences such as how they like to prep before a meeting, how they write and respond to emails etc. If possible, go through recent work done by your manager so you can get a sense of deliverables quality and style. Schedule regular check-ins, ask for feedback and be proactive.
5. Network! As you can tell, we’re big on this one
- Find a mentor: Try to find a mentor outside your immediate team at work who can act as a safe-zone for any questions you may have about the wider company, and also give advice when needed. Ensure you regularly stay in touch with your mentor by scheduling monthly check-ins and sending agendas in advance. Don’t be shy to cold-contact people in a structured and concise manner to find out about what they do, you’ll be surprised how open and willing people are to help.
- Be Creative: Are there alumni from your school / univeristy at your current firm who you can reach out to and start a mini-group? Are there any extra-curricular clubs such as Cycling Club, Women’s Network etc that you can join, or even better, start up?
- Help each other out: Networking is a two-way street and the more people you meet, the more opportunities you have to expand your community and your chances to grow. Find a peer who can act as an informal mentor and with whom you can figure out those tough excel models or grab that coffee after a hard day at work. Always be kind and have each other’s back. You will do well at work because you are good, not because your team-mate isn’t.
Good luck with your new opportunity! We wish you all the best and as always if you have any questions please do reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org