As you may already know, I recently started a new job in London which I adore just as much as I adore my new colleagues. It really couldn’t have gone smoother. However, I know that not everyone has the best first experience on their first days in a new job so I wanted to share some pearls of wisdom I have picked up along the way…
What to wear:
Now you may be thinking ‘what you wear really isn’t that important’ and I totally agree that what you wear shouldn’t change anything, but that just isn’t the case. From the second you step into your interview you are being judged and the same can be said of your first day in your new job. Now I don’t say that to make it sound intimidating because it really isn’t, just make sure you don’t turn up in a mini skirt or see-through blouse (Bridget Jones reference for those of you in a bubble).
You need to wear what you feel most comfortable and confident in. The last thing you want is to feel self conscious on your first day in something you have worn because it’s something you think you should wear. You can always ask the hiring manager (or whoever the recruiter is) what the dress style is in the office to get a good idea of what to wear.
If you have the funds, investing in some new shoes or a new coat especially for work can also make you feel good. Basically, anything you can do to make yourself feel confident, just do it.
Once you have your outfit sorted and you’re feeling all sassy and ready to smash your first day, make sure you have planned your route. If possible, you can always do a run through beforehand of your route so you know what to expect. If you’re in London like me, I couldn’t recommend Citymapper more. It will tell you exactly what transport to get, the stops you need, the walking time, and arrival time. It takes all the stress away of having to memorise your journey. You can also save your new work address on the app so all you have to do is select it and the route will automatically load and away you go. Minimal effort is always best.
All good so far? Good.
The next step is actually meeting your colleagues. This can be daunting but remember this is your chance to judge them just as much as it is for them to judge you. You might be thinking that you want to crawl into a hole and hide at this moment but just take a deep breath, smile, and introduce yourself confidently and clearly. You don’t need to pretend to be someone you’re not so if you are a bit on the quieter side that’s absolutely fine, you can organise one to one meetings and get to know people that way. Equally, if you’re usually the loudest in the room then use that to your advantage and make them laugh. The best advice I can give you is to make eye contact with people when you’re speaking to them, listen and let them finish before you talk, and take the time to get to know each person as you never know what you can learn from someone.
As long as you do that and you’ve got your confidence boosting outfit on, they will love you!
Well maybe don’t say yes to everything but try not to turn anything down in your first few weeks, preferably even for the length of your probation if possible. This could be anything from taking on more work, going to training sessions, working extra hours, taking on tasks that you don’t have much experience in, and even after work drinks! Now that last one may seem strange – why should you have to go to drinks after work? But I really do advise going along to as many social occasions with your colleagues as possible. This is where you meet people you haven’t worked with yet, you learn their names, their jobs, how they can help you in your job, and you could even gain a mentor in someone. I’m not saying go out until the early hours (although that tends to be my style) but going along and mingling with everyone can really open up opportunities for you. The first social I went on at my new job resulted in me gaining a mentor in the head of marketing! Anything is possible. Really.
Lastly, have confidence. It is sometimes easier said than done but try and remember that you are there because they chose you out of a whole line up of others with similar experiences. YOU were the best so do not doubt yourself. Also have the confidence to ask questions! I remember thinking if I asked too many questions then they would think I wasn’t good enough, but that is not the case at all. I personally love it when a new starter asks me questions as it shows that they want to make sure they are doing something right and want to learn more. Questions are good!
So that’s the last of my top tips for starting a new job! I hope this can help anyone nervous about their first day and I wish you all luck! Let me know how your first days go, I would love to hear about them.