first day tips: do's and don'ts when starting a new job.

The first day at a new job is a nerve-wracking time for anyone. You are entering a new environment filled with people you have probably never met before. You don’t know how they will react to you and you are nervous that you may not fit in or be able to meet the expectations your new employers have of you.

These feelings are perfectly normal but you can alleviate some of the pressure by taking a few simple steps.

Research company history  

You should already know a something about your new employers from when you applied for the job but before taking up your new appointment it is a good idea to do some extra research. Go through the company’s website and learn about its history, what it is up to now, senior management personnel and its culture. You may be able to find some staff profiles that will give you a better idea about the people you may meet.

Scan social media

You can use social networking sites to gain more information. Your new employer will most likely have profile pages and you may be able to connect with some staff through these. This will help break down some of those initial barriers. It may also be possible to drop in on your new workplace before you start work, which will help you get to know a few of your future co-workers personally before your first day and will make your entrance that much easier.

Take a holiday

If possible take a few days off between jobs. This will give you the opportunity to clear your head and refresh yourself for the new challenge ahead. It will also allow you to evaluate your performance in your old job and decide changes that you would like to make in your work habits. A new job is a new start and you have the chance to put past failings behind you.

Dress to impress

When the big day arrives, be sure that you are appropriately dressed. As a newcomer, you do not want to stand out by being over-dressed or too casual. If you are not sure, smart casual is usually a safe option. Hopefully, your earlier research will have given you some idea of what to wear.

Ask questions

On arrival, your new manager or other supervisor will probably greet you. They will find someone to show your around an introduce you to some of the staff. You may be placed under somebody’s wing till you learn the ropes, which will give you the chance to find out the things that the Internet or other channels won’t tell you. If you are not given a mentor, then try to ask for one.

You won't understand everything...yet

Your settling in period is just that. No one will expect you to get everything right and understand all the procedures from the outset. It is a time for learning and forging relationships with your new colleagues. It will be both challenging and rewarding and there will always be an older hand ready to give help and advice, so never be afraid to ask.


After a week or two, you will be wondering why you were so worried. You will be working well and will have made new friends along the way.

< return to previous page