Starting a new job can be as stressful as it is exciting. There will be a lot to learn, and often high expectations. But the best way to start any job is having a great first day. Once that hurdle is crossed, the rest generally runs quite smoothly. When starting on a construction site, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Top tips for your first day on a construction site.
- Get there early
- Dress appropriately
- Ask questions
- Be safe
- Bring refreshments
1. Get there early.
Make sure you know the route you’ll be taking off by heart and maybe even make the trip once or twice ahead of time, just to make sure you know how long it takes. Aim to arrive at the site 15 to 30 minutes before you’re meant to start but only go in 5 minutes early. If you’re extra early, go and get a cup of tea, coffee or even hot chocolate at a local café and relax a little.
2. Dress appropriately.
It is essential to be properly dressed when working on a construction site. There are several basics you will need, including safety boots, a hard hat and a safety vest. Depending on your role, you may also need special gloves, eyewear or other specialised safety equipment. You’ll also be told ahead of time if any tools are required but always bring essentials, just in case. You can find out more about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the government guide.
3. Socialise and remember important names.
You’ll meet lots of new people during your first few days on site, so there will be a lot of names to remember. You’re unlikely to remember all the names however, try to take a mental note of all the people you will be working closely with, especially if the project you are working on will take several months to complete. Also, the first couple of weeks, don’t be afraid to ask people their names. It’ll be a lot less awkward then having to ask them three months down the road.
4. Ask questions - don’t fake it till you make it.
Now’s the time to ask as many as you want, so ask away. The more you learn now, the less you’ll struggle later on. Learn from the more experienced workers, observe what they do and try to absorb as much as possible.
5. Be safe.
Be cautious of your surroundings, a construction site is a dangerous place to work. Stay out of other people’s way, always evaluate the risk of your actions and always make sure you are wearing the appropriate safety clothing before handling any equipment.
6. Bring cold lunch and plenty of water.
Not all construction sites have a microwave or any way of heating up or buying a warm meal. So for your first day, bring a cold meal. Remember to also bring a lot of water. Construction is a physical job so you’ll need to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Feel ready for your first day? If you’re still a little nervous, take a look at our tips on managing stress at work.