Direct Line Group

The first day at your new job: what to expect

Posted by Direct Line Group at 02:27 PM

Your first day at your new job: what to expect

Beginning a new job can be a daunting experience, but you can feel reassured by the fact that you were the candidate selected for that role. Nevertheless, immersing yourself into a new environment with new people, procedures and possibly demanding new responsibilities too, will have its challenges. Your first day at a new job is likely to be memorable, but you will want to do your best to ensure it is memorable for the right reasons.
Before you turn up: work begins before you leave the house

Whether you’re beginning a new job or starting a new career you’ll want to enter your new workplace or role feeling fresh, energetic, comfortable and ready to go. The most obvious way to achieve this is by making sure you dress appropriately.
What to wear has been a controversial topic in the press of late, with questions being raised about acceptable footwear worn by women in one particular high profile case, so it’s a good idea to get an understanding of the employer’s expectations before you set out – and whether you can get on board with them.
If you are in a customer or client-facing role, looking smart is generally a requirement. Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready in the morning on your first day and to help yourself get into a relaxed and positive frame of mind and eat a proper energising breakfast (although breakfast might not be something you can tolerate if you experience first day nerves). However, it’s no good spending hours making sure your hair is just-so if it means you’re going to be stuck in traffic and turn up late, so be realistic about timings. Few things are worse than showing up late on your first day at a new job. It’s better to be early and allow yourself time to find where you are supposed to go, and so on.

First impressions: you only get one chance

Meeting new colleagues and getting to know the people you will work with can be exciting, but also a potential minefield. One piece of advice is to observe and understand the culture you are going into before imposing any of your own approaches – even if you consider your own approach to be the better option.
Once you understand the climate and how individuals operate and relate to each other, as well as your own responsibilities, you can gently introduce other ways of doing things through collaboration and with agreement.
Perhaps most importantly, starting a new job can be made all the more easy if you offer to make the tea. Your first day on the job will be more bearable if you take the time to make a soothing cupper for others as well as for yourself.
Home time: leaving is as important as arriving

Your first day at a new job can be very exciting. You might be inundated with new information, bombarded by introductions, and initiated into dozens of procedures. Alternatively your employer might offer you a more gentle introduction into the way of things.
While it’s certainly forgivable to forget the names of everyone you meet, it can be helpful to remember one thing about each of them – not least the work they are responsible for and how your own work relates to them. Be sure to establish early on whom you report to and with whom you will have the most contact. Who is most fun to work with or who is most irritating shouldn’t be a consideration on day one – nor should you ask!
Showing an interest is the best way to integrate into a new working culture. The best way to show colleagues and your new employer that you are interested in your role on your first day in a new job is by asking the right questions. Be careful not to interrogate, and choose your questions with caution, but carefully considered, thoughtful relevant questions are welcome, as is responding receptively to conversation with gentle humour. A friendly approach goes a long way towards demonstrating that you are keen to be there and ready to start your new career.

First day fails: no disasters – just learning opportunities

Starting a new career can be fraught with emotion due to the excitement of beginning something new and the hopes you have of the role, but also thanks to the nerves associated with that weight of expectation.
New job nerves can feel a little overwhelming at times. Most people are aware of the strain new staff members experience and they will do their best to help alleviate nervousness.
You might hear stories about people messing up on their first day by saying the wrong thing. There are obvious topics to avoid such as asking about a possible raise before you have had time to demonstrate your worthiness of such a consideration. Be humble too, no one likes a know-it-all. It’s no good comparing your old job to your new one even if it is a favourable comparison. Being negative about your former job reflects badly on you. By the same token don’t be too emphatic and enthusiastic about everything you encounter on your first day. Marvelling at the qualities of a colleague’s stapler might come across as a little inauthentic for example.
Saying the wrong thing is a natural response to new job anxiety. While new job stress can make you feel a little tense, take a deep breath and consider your options before blurting out the wrong thing. Be cautious about adopting an overly familiar tone with your new colleagues too. If in doubt, err on the side of formality and warm up as you get to know people. Employing a demeanour of polite professionalism and friendliness is sufficient without unleashing the full force of your personality on day one and you can be sure you’ll fit in in no time.
Direct Line Group loves welcoming new employees. Find out how to work with us and take a look at our current available jobs

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