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Preparation is key!

16 April 2020

By Liam mcconnell

Preparation is key!

​Congratulations if today is the first day in your new job. For most of us, there is nothing more daunting than the build-up and actual realisation that you are all of a sudden, the newbie, the last one in, the new kid on the block. Unfortunately this is just one of life’s lessons most of us will have to encounter at some stage in our lives but it’s like a lot of things, it’s never really as bad as we think it will be.

You’ve accepted the job, you identify this as a great new opportunity and can’t wait to prove yourself in the role. To help set yourself up in the best possible manner it’s always useful to make the most out of those first few days, weeks in the role. No doubt there will be a lot of reading, lots of screen staring, listening to calls then of course for some, the dreaded role play! In amongst all that use these helpful hints to make the most to your start and lay the foundations to your planned success.

Know your surroundings, become familiar.

It is key that you quickly become familiar with where you work. You are going to be spending the majority of your day here. Understand where everything is, from the coffee machine to the toilets, the conference room to the stationary cupboard. Understand the parameters of what freedom you have in the office. Are you desk bound until lunchtime? Can you move around the premises freely? Become familiar early. In regards external surroundings, if you are now working in a remote location, what can you do at lunchtime? A local shop to visit?

Take your Line Manager’s lead

Whatever plans you have for your first day, follow your manager’s lead. They may have planned the entire day for you to do paperwork and settle in, and may not have any work assignments for you. Always offer to get started but don’t push it because you don’t yet know enough about your manager or the culture to second-guess anyone’s judgement. Just go along enthusiastically.

Check in with your manager often.

My advice is to check in after each piece of work is completed, simply so you can get immediate feedback to make any necessary adjustments for future tasks. Based on the amount of time you spend with them, check in regularly as this will give your manager the opportunity to review & correct any issues early on. Importantly this will indicate to your manager that you are open and willing to improve.

Ask your manager for introductions.

You should also check in with your manager to get to know the company. Internal reading material is always a good place to start. Anything that will assist in your learning will be key at this stage. If working in a larger organisation, ask for introductions to people in the other departments who you might work closely with or need their services. Becoming familiar with the right approach is key.

Need more work? Need less work? Speak up.

One common trend we come across often is the level of expectation a Manager has of a new starter. Without saying anything you are giving control of the introduction to your manager but in fact it’s something that must be shared between the trainer & the trainee. They may give you assignments and have expectations of when you are likely to complete them but remember you are spending the first 30-60 days of your new employment getting up to speed. Don’t be embarrassed if something take your longer than expected. It’s essential to demonstrate that you are taking things in correctly and in time, the pace will quicken.

Hope these help, good luck starting your new job!

Thanks for reading,


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