How to Start a New Job – The Right Way

5 years ago


Working closely with local employers and guiding candidates to the next stage in their career, over the years I’ve learnt what’s expected from new starters and first impressions can stay with your
new employer for a very long time.

Being ‘the newbie’ can be difficult for the best of us, but it can also be exciting! You’ll face both difficulties and opportunities, hopefully, with these handy tips, you’ll be able to overcome difficulties and make the most of any opportunities.

Don’t forget, you’re ‘The Chosen One’
Make sure that you understand from your first day why you were hired and what your manager is expecting of you. This can help with setting yourself personal goals and make it clear as to what things you need to learn in the weeks to come.

Don’t be afraid to ask!
It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. If you don’t know how or where to find the information you need, you’ll waste your time if you search for it yourself. Ask your boss or colleagues for help when you need it. It’s better to know how to do it right the first time, rather than unnecessarily struggle.

Don’t make comparisons
Avoid making comparisons between your new company and your old company. Your new team doesn’t want to hear “At my old job, we used to…” Focus on what you need to do now, not what or how you did something in the past.

The good listener
While I myself have sometimes struggled to follow this suggestion, it’s normally wise to do more listening and less talking during the first few days or weeks. Be especially cautious about suggesting new ideas. While your boss and co-workers may be more open to your ideas during your honeymoon period, early ideas may be viewed as presumptuous or premature, not considering factors that would take time for a new employee to learn. For the first days or weeks, it’s probably best to focus on learning your job, doing it as specified and slowly building relationships.

Mind your P’s and Q’s
This should be a basic attribute anyway, but make sure you don’t accidentally rub anyone up the wrong way on your first day. Everyone you encounter, from the receptionist right up to the big boss, should receive the same impression of you – polite and respectful. Make it your business to introduce yourself, especially if your new boss doesn’t introduce you first. With so much else to organise, they sometimes forget.

Go the extra mile
Be the one who volunteers for something, like changing the bottle on the water cooler or doing a coffee run. Be the last to lunch in the early days, the first back, and one of the last out of the door at night. Show your new colleagues that you’re committed and mean business but also looking to integrate yourself as one of the team.

A memory game
No one expects you to have everyone’s name memorised by the end of the first day or week, but if you know you’re not great with names, now is the time to research some memory-aid tricks you can try to use. Certainly, as soon as possible, learn the names of every member of your team.

Write that down
Unless you’re a genius, consider taking notes on all the various systems and rules of the organisation. Nothing gets old faster than someone repeatedly asking how something works; such behaviour shows a lack of attention to detail.

Every day counts
It’s important to show up to work every day and establish a good attendance record. Yes, there will be emergencies, and yes, you may get sick but as best as you can, try to make it to work every day during those first weeks on the job.

Buddy up
You don’t need to jump on this task your first day, but as you get introduced to senior staff, begin thinking about developing a mentoring relationship with a member of management above you.

Report on your progress
Your boss is not a mind-reader, so keep them informed of how you are doing. Especially in those early days, meet with your boss to further establish a rapport and relationship. Express interest in moving ahead and ask what else you can be doing to get to that next step. Be sure that they know you are a self-starter and hard worker. Just don’t bring the boss every little problem; instead, for minor issues, ask for help from co-workers.

Spot the high performers and mimic them
Every organisation is different, which means the key attributes of top performers in those organisations are different too. Pick out the top performers and study them. Figure out what makes them tick, how they approach problems and how they make decisions. There’s no need to reinvent the high-performance wheel; save that for when you are a top performer and want to go an even higher level.

Whilst you won’t always have to use all of the above, it’s important to have an awareness of workplace etiquette in your early days/weeks at a new company. If you’re working with Cummins Mellor, regardless of your job title, industry, or seniority; we will provide you with everything you need to know about the company, including their core values, what they expect of a new starter and will regularly be in touch before starting your new position and throughout your first few months.


Got a question about recruitment? Get in touch!

Helen Jackson
Director of Commercial Developments
01254 239363
[email protected]





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