11 Simple Tips for How to Start a New Job Successfully

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 5, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The first day at a new job often involves transitions and adjustments and can sometimes feel intimidating. While maintaining a positive attitude can help ease the anxiety, the idea of leaving familiarity behind and journeying into a new role may make you feel scared and uncomfortable. Learning how to start a new job properly by knowing what to expect and how to act may help you navigate your new workplace easily and make you feel less nervous. In this article, we discuss 11 tips on how to start a new job and make your transition easier.

11 tips on how to start a new job

Knowing how to start a new job can help you understand what to expect from your manager and how to introduce yourself to your new coworkers. While it may be natural to feel anxious during this period, mentally preparing yourself can make you feel more relaxed with this change in your career. Here are 11 tips to consider before you begin a new job:

1. Confirm your start date and onboarding schedule

Upon signing your contract, the company's human resources (HR) department may provide you with an offer letter. This does not always include the details on what time to arrive at the office, what to wear, or who to look for during your first day. While some organizations implement standard and established onboarding processes, some still run on a less formal workflow process. You can consider approaching or contacting the HR department to confirm these details and other important information you may need during your first day or week.

You can also contact your manager or team leader by sending a message through e-mail or any official messaging application that the company uses. You may wish to simply check-in or take the opportunity to ask questions regarding the proper office attire or if they want you to prepare or bring anything on your first day. You can also ask what they expect from you during your first day or week. This demonstrates a proactive attitude that may help you make a good first impression.

Related: How To Negotiate a Start Date for a New Job (With Examples)

2. Conduct research on the company and the team

While candidates usually research the company during the interview process, you can also do this as preparation for your first day of work. Consider researching the company culture to know how to best conduct yourself in the office. It may help to look up social media posts to get a glimpse of some of their practices and the profiles of your colleagues to find similarities in interests and hobbies that you can reference in conversations.

Consider looking into the company's mission, vision, background story, and goals. Include researching the names and positions of important people in the company and those that you meet during your first day. Coming in prepared with this information may help you join in on discussions and address other employees properly.

Related: A Guide to Answering Challenging Interview Questions

3. Do a test run of your first day

This may include your commute, your internet connection if you're working from home, your computer or laptop, and software to use on your first work day. It's advisable to plan your commute to avoid delays on your first day. If you're planning to drive to work, you can do so one or two days before your first day to check what roads, streets, and avenues have more traffic. You can find the best route to get to work and study the parking situation.

Related: Remote Work vs. Work from Home: Differences and Similarities

4. Dress appropriately

After receiving information about this subject, decide on the best attire to wear on your first day of work to create a strong impression. Some companies may require a particular dress code, such as casual or business casual. Follow the rules and dress appropriately for your new role. It's essential to consider that overdressing tends to be more acceptable than underdressing.

Related: Business Professional vs. Business Casual Dress Code

5. Arrive early on your first day

Another mark of professionalism includes punctuality. If you find it hard to get up in the morning, setting a series of alarms may help in case you sleep through the first one. It's also crucial to plan your commute ahead of time. Know the quickest route to the office and include 10 to 15 minutes of extra time to give allowance for unexpected events.

Strive to arrive at least 30 to 40 minutes earlier than your call time. Arriving early not only helps ease your anxiety but can also give you more time to prepare and find your way around your new office. Coming in early also helps establish your reputation as being reliable and professional.

Related: Tips for Successfully Navigating Your First Day at a New Job

6. Introduce yourself and get to know your colleagues

Consider sending an e-mail or group message to your teammates to introduce yourself. You can also try to find out who you're likely to work alongside or interact with regularly. To remember their names and roles, you can write their details in a notebook that you can later review.

You can make a good first impression by building rapport with your colleagues as early as your first day. Later on, these colleagues may help you with issues at work, give you advice, and assist you in your transition to the new office environment.

Related: 15 Creative Self-Introductions to Make a Positive Impression

7. Ask questions

On your first day, a representative from HR or someone from your team may show you around the office to introduce you and help you become familiar with the office layout. You can take this opportunity to ask about things that you want to clarify, such as their lunch protocol and where they usually take their breaks. Consider asking questions related to your role, including systems, processes, and common tasks.

Knowing your role and the team's expectation of you early on can help you adapt quickly and easily to your new job and environment. Asking questions also shows your eagerness to understand how the company operates. This may help you make a good impression.

Related: How to Onboard New Employees (With Tips and Strategies)

8. Observe and learn

Starting a new job often involves a learning curve you may easily manage and overcome by observing how your team does things and learning from what they say and do. Take in as much information as possible by practising active listening throughout the day. You can also write down information and instructions they may give you. Don't hesitate to ask them to repeat themselves if you're unsure of what you heard.

Related: How to Learn More about a Company's Culture

9. Organize your workstation

The company may provide you with a new office or working table during your first day. Take the time to settle in your new space, and if the company permits, decide on how you want to customize or design your workstation. Check on the available supplies and take note of the things you wish to bring in or purchase from an office supply store.

Personalizing your workstation may help you feel more comfortable and productive in your new office. You can do this by adding items such as small plants, a whiteboard, a small clock, or a desk calendar. Settling in can also involve familiarizing yourself with the office layout. This includes taking note of the location of the most accessible bathroom, the nearest exit, or the pantry.

10. Go to work prepared

Companies implement varied practices during the onboarding of new employees. Some may allow you to spend the whole day familiarizing yourself with the office layout and getting to know the team, while others might immediately assign you tasks and projects. Regardless of their onboarding process or practice, make sure that you come in prepared and ready for any situation.

To prepare for first-day tasks, consider bringing your laptop, a notebook, pens, your phone, and anything related to your role. As your office or workstation assignment may not yet be prepared and might not be turned over to you on your first day, you can also wait to bring in any personal items or supplies that you plan to put on your table.

11. Give thank you notes

At the end of your first day, consider handing out written thank you notes or cards to colleagues who helped, assisted, and made you feel welcome. Depending on your preference and the company culture, you may wish to send out e-mails instead of cards. Aside from showing your appreciation, this gesture helps you create good relationships with your new coworkers, which can help you adjust more easily to your new workplace.

Related: How to Answer “What Is Your Date of Availability?” in 5 Steps

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