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Starting a new job doesn’t have to be terrifying

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You’re through the application process; aced the interviews; and accepted an offer. The hard part is over, isn’t it? So, why are you feeling increasingly stressed as the start date for your new job approaches?

Despite being a positive life event, a new job is frequently listed right up there among many negative events on the stress scale. Starting a new job can be a daunting, sometimes overwhelming experience. As a hands-on recruitment consultancy, we see people taking the next step in their career every week and often help them through the transition from their last role to a new one with some simple, but tried and tested strategies. Here are our top five tips to help you make the most of your new position and actually enjoy your first week!​

1. Mental preparation

Focus on why you wanted this job and why the new employer wanted you. There are good reasons why you were chosen, so bear these in mind while you set yourself some goals. What do you want from this job? Is there something that you want to do differently to your previous position? What impact or impression do you want to make? Having some internalised, private targets will help you begin as you mean to go on.

2. First day preparation

It may sound obvious, but you won’t want to be working out what to wear or which is the nearest underground station to your new office at the crack of dawn on your first day. Think it all through the day before – and then get a full night’s sleep. On Day 1, get there earlier than you need to. There will be plenty of obstacles, from traffic to security passes to finding your way through the building, that will slow you down. Keep in mind that the person you ignore in the lift could turn out be a new colleague or manager, so be polite to everyone you meet!

3. Ask questions

Your first hours could well be taken care of with an on-boarding process that will inevitably answer a lot of questions you might have. But if it doesn’t, or there isn’t a formal procedure in place, ask questions. Don’t wait to be introduced to people, just say hello. Those nearby desks are full of your new colleagues who also had a first day once when they didn’t know where the bathroom was or how to log onto the network. No one will mind you asking when you’re new.

4. Be sociable

Join in. Say yes. Learn your colleagues’ names and readily accept invitations of coffee or to events after work. A new member of the team changes the dynamic for them, remember, so do all you can to make it a positive experience for them too. It will not only smooth your transition into the office, but also help you enjoy your first days there.

5. Let your work speak for itself

Remember again why you were chosen for the job and dive into your work. Don’t be silent in meetings if you feel you have something to offer. As part of the team, your contribution will soon be expected of you, so feel free to share your experience or opinion if it’s valid. Just don’t go overboard – this isn’t the time to prove that you can work faster or for longer than anyone else. Focus, show attention to detail and a willingness to learn new processes and the quality of your work will shine through. 

Good luck!