How to manage your first few days in your new job

In the latest of our monthly column for the South Wales Echo, one of our Recruitment Consultants in our Cardiff Branch, Taylor-Dee Jacka, gives her top tips for how you can hit the ground running when taking on a new role. 

It can be a difficult balancing act when starting a brand new job; ensuring you come across as confident but not complacent, while getting over those first day nerves. Just remember, if you’ve been hired, it means you’re the right person for the job, so be comfortable in your own shoes and be confident in your abilities.

The most important way to settle in to your new job is to relax and be yourself, but to help you on your way here are my top tips to approach those important first few days:

  1. Be punctual – get this cracked early on and not only will you get a reputation as reliable employee, but you’ll set yourself up with some great habits for the rest of your working life. Always aim to arrive before you’re due to start a shift and avoid leaving early or taking extra-long breaks. This applies to attending meetings too, be on time. If you get a reputation for being punctual, it will impress your colleagues and influence others to do the same.
  1. Stick to your promises - don’t promise to complete tasks you know you can’t deliver. Distractions are common place at work but it’s important to stick to promises and agreed deadlines. If unexpected issues arise, face them head on and ensure you’re honest and communicative with the relevant colleague – it pays to be frank and not to leave people wondering about progress.
  1. Look smart, feel smart – it’s easy to forget what a difference dressing smartly can have on the way others see you. Dress in appropriate business attire for your place of work, wear sensible shoes and jewellery and keep your hair, face and hands clean. What goes for your appearance also goes for your desk, so try to keep everything on your workspace neatly organised. The cleaner your desk and the smarter you appear will help you to work more efficiently as well as helping you to come across as smart and professional to both colleagues and clients.
  1. Take the initiative – when you start a new job, it might take a while for you to find your niche in the company. Rather than wait for work to be passed your way, don’t be afraid to speak up when your workload is light, put yourself forward and ask for more responsibilities and to take a lead on new projects. If you don’t know exactly how to do something, see if you can work it out before asking for advice – this is the sort of initiative that will be noted.
  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff - no-one expects you to have memorised the names of everyone in the company on the first day, so don’t worry if you make a small mistake. Everyone knows what it’s like to start a new job, so don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know where something is. If tasks take a little longer than planned, or you run into some difficulties, let your colleagues or Line Manager know in advance or ask for advice. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength not of weakness.
  1. Enjoy your new challenge - you got the job you’ve been wanting for ages and have leapt through hoops to get it – you deserve to enjoy it. If you’re enjoying your new role, don’t be afraid to let other see this it – and your brightness and energy may also have a positive influence on those around you. Let your body language be relaxed and open and you’ll soon start to gain the confidence of those you’re working with.
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