The survival guide to the first week in your new job

By: BD Recruitment  07/07/2008
Keywords: employment, careers, new job

First impressions count when you start a new position, so make sure that the weekend celebrations over your new job stop long before Monday morning. It can be a nervous time, when you want to be merging gradually into your new environment and not sticking out like a sore thumb. So, here's a simply guide to getting the first few days right...

Getting to work
Do not be late on your first day. This journey maybe unfamiliar to you, especially during morning rush hour, so preparation is the key. You will have ideally carried out a trial run one morning the previous week, to assess the flow of traffic and give yourself every chance of predicting journey time. Check for traffic jams/ road closures/ train delays before you set off. If you are going to be late, make sure you call ahead and inform the company. If you arrive too early, don't worry. It will give you time to relax and grab a coffee before it all starts.

Who are you seeing?
Who are you due to ask for on day one? Do you know what time you are set to start? Do you know the address you are working (if the company has more than one site)?

Many larger firms have strict security policies. You maybe expected to meet with a Security Officer initially to go over procedure. Make sure you know before hand if any information is required, such as ID or a couple of photos for a security card.

You should have been provided with a P45 by your previous employer. This details what you have earned in the current tax year along with tax paid to-date. Take this along with you on day one and give it to the Payroll or Accounting Departments.

Something to keep you busy
Often your job will require you to "get stuck in" with immediate effect. However, if it's a slow burner or perhaps it's your first job, you can expect some "down time" when you could be left twiddling your thumbs. Take a book or magazine with you to work - perhaps a leading industry publication. This will make you appear organised and prevent you being seen as idle or a little lost.

Personalise your space
It's usually acceptable to allow a little personalisation around your work space. Bringing in a couple of family photos' or something personal will make you feel comfortable and at ease early on.

Learn names
You will obviously be meeting a number of new people when you start. Learning names is very important - not only to make you feel part of your new surroundings but also to let people see you are really making the effort. Focus on putting a name to the face in the early days as getting names wrong after week 2 is not ideal.

Ease into the social scene
At the end of your first week, it maybe common for the team to go for drinks. Be aware of your behaviour during the early social stages. You don't know these people yet and the wrong thing maybe said to the wrong person. Wait until you have stronger relationships before opening your heart to them.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for the creative recruitment, marketing recruitment and technical recruitment industries, based in Manchester, UK.

Keywords: careers, employment, new job