2016 New Year, New Career!

Some helpful tips for starting a new job!


What to Expect After Accepting

You got the job, congratulations! After you’ve accepted a job offer you can feel uncertain about the process which follows. There are several stages you must go through when you start your new role in order to fully understand your position and where it’s going to lead you.

Understand your job description

Your skills and experience evidently matched the requirements in the job description, otherwise you wouldn’t have been selected for the role. However, this doesn’t mean that the information provided in the description has now become irrelevant. Before you start your new role read through it again so you know what to expect in terms of your responsibilities, the skills you’ll need straight away and those you need to develop relatively soon. If there is anything you’re unsure about then it’s best to deal with this before you start the job, otherwise you could find yourself in some awkward situations. For example, if your computer skills are a bit rusty and the role involves some admin work, familiarise yourself with all the programs you’ll need to use. By getting to grips with what you’ll be confronted with during your first few days, you will reduce your nerves and feel more confident and prepared for your new role.

Decipher your contract

When your new employer presents you with their employee handbook and your contract you may be dreading the daunting and mundane task of trawling through them. However, it’s essential that you do so with care and precision. The handbook will provide you with important information on company policy and procedures so you can avoid making embarrassing mistakes once you start. You also need to be aware of your rights and what you’re entitled to, which is why reading your contract inside and out is essential. If there is anything you’re unsure of or don’t understand then it’s important to raise your queries with your new employer rather than just ignore them; this could lead to you breaking your contract without realising, causing you unnecessary hassle.

Probationary period

Most employers will place new employees in what’s termed a ‘probationary period’ in order to assess whether they’ve truly chosen the right candidate for the job. If you’re on probation then it will be stated in your contract, as to how this affects your position and what will happen if you pass or fail this period. The employer must still adhere to your statutory rights from the day you start, but during your probation they may have explained in your contract that you can be dismissed without notice or perhaps your holiday days are limited until you’ve completed this period. In order to survive this uncertain time, make sure you’re fully aware of the terms of your probationary period, including when it ends. Be on your best behaviour, perform well and no doubt you’ll pass with flying colours.


5 Top Tips: ‘Must Dos’ For Your First Day

There’s nothing worse than a nightmare first day at a new job. Turning up late, going hungry and not knowing answers to some basic questions are just some of the things that might knock your confidence and have you wishing that you could start again. Therefore, follow these top five ‘must dos’ to ensure that you start as you mean to go on.

Plan Your Journey

Being late is possibly the worst thing you could on your first day, so make sure stamp out the chances of it happening. Whether you walk, drive, cycle or get public transport to your new job, plan ahead. As well as which route or bus to take, consider the time of day you’ll be leaving. ‘Rush hour’, for example, can add unsavoury amounts of time onto a 10 minute journey. If possible, try and do a dry run a day or week in advance so you know exactly what to expect.

Take a Packed Lunch

Every workplace will have its own lunchtime ritual, which is something that might take a day or week to learn. While you might be treated to a team bonding lunch with your manager and/or colleagues, make sure to cover all bases and bring in some lunch, just in case. With a salad, sandwich, or soup in-hand you can ensure that you don’t go hungry on your first day.

Brush Up Your Knowledge

Hit the ground running by impressing your manager with what you know. Read over the company’s website to ensure you know exactly what it is the company does and have been up to. If anything, this should be a refresher from when you were preparing for your job interview. It may also pay to read up on relevant information and news that relate to your duties.

Prepare Your Outfit

In the days leading up to your first day, sort out what you’re going to wear. By planning your outfit in advance, you can make sure that your favourite suit or skirt still fits and has no holes it in. Also, ensure that your outfit is appropriate to your surroundings.

Have a Good Night’s Sleep the Night Before

On the eve of your first day, make sure to get plenty of sleep. Try to avoid a late and/or heavy night, as you want to be on the ball from the off. You can’t impress if you have heavy eyes and a fuzzy head.


Getting Settled

It’s natural to feel nervous about starting a new job, but remember that meeting new people and getting comfortable in new surroundings is exciting to.

In order to make your arrival into a new workplace as easy and stress free as possible, here’s a few tips that will help you settle in with confidence:

Be Polite

Meeting people with a smile on your face and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ shows that you’re friendly and approachable. You want to make your transition into a new working environment as easy as possible.

Show Your Personality

Inject a bit of ‘who you are’ into the workplace. Whether it’s bringing in a mug that has the crest of your favourite football team on it, a calendar themed by your favourite band, or a multipack of your favourite biscuit, let people know a little bit more about you with one or two home comforts.

Ask How Others Like Their Tea

Whether you’re in an office or on a building site, you’ll be working with colleagues who will enjoy a cup of tea or coffee to break up their day. If you find yourself at the kettle, don’t be afraid to ask others if they’d like a drink. The small talk that accompanies the delivery of a warming mug is a great ice breaker when it comes to getting to know others.

Be Social

Whether it’s joining others during your lunch break, sharing a drink after work, or going bowling with colleagues over the weekend, being social will really help you settle into your new job. People really come out of their shells away from work and so you’ll really get to know others – and they’ll get to know you. Don’t be shy, go and have some fun.


What Not To Do When You’re New

You’ve secured your next role. Time for a quick refresher of the types of office behaviour to avoid while you’re settling in!

Don’t be late

Not at all, not even by one minute. This includes coming back from lunch!

Don’t wear anything too casual

It’s better to dress smartly on your first day and work your way backwards from there. You don’t want to rock up in completely the wrong clothes and make a bad first impression!

Don’t use your phone

If you haven’t been told specific rules about using your mobile, don’t get yours out on the first day! Check to see if your colleagues are openly texting or taking calls, and if so it may be OK to follow suit when you feel comfortable. If you have a direct manager then check with them to see what their preference is.

Don’t gossip

Talking about other people is natural human behaviour. No matter how innocent your comments, passing judgement on your colleagues or boss in your first few weeks is a bad, bad idea. You may feel pressure to go along with the office gossip, but try not to say anything which could potentially come back and bite you!


Tips for Progression

A one, three or six month probationary period is completely normal in many types of job. Following a successful interview process and induction, your probation period is in place to ensure that you’re the right fit for the vacancy, and that you can see yourself staying with the company in the long term. So, how can you make sure you’ll pass your probationary period and get offered that permanent contract?

Be proactive

Perhaps there’ll be a rigid structure of training in place, or perhaps they’ll take a ‘learn on the job’ approach. Make the most of the options available to you, and fully immerse yourself in learning new techniques and information. If you feel like you can take on extra work, let your manager know you are open to upping your workload – but don’t insist on it if they are keen for you to take things slow.

Keep track

Make records of everything you learn, and all of the work you complete during your probation period. It will be handy to look over this before your probationary meeting, especially if you will be required to discuss what you have contributed to the business so far. You may also find it easier to look back on your own notes if you forget some important information, too – there’s so much to absorb in the first few weeks, after all.

Ask how you’re doing

There should be regular catch-ups in place, particularly during those first few weeks of employment. However, if you feel as though you need to touch base with your manager more often, don’t be hesitant in asking for more feedback. If any issues arise it is best to catch them sooner rather than later, and this will also show your keenness in making the most of the opportunity that’s been given to you.

Make friends

It sounds simple enough, right? Your manager will be assessing you based on team fit as well as performance, so if they can see that you’ve integrated well with your team mates, this will definitely count in your favour! Environment and culture should be important considerations for any company.


Good luck, 2016 could be the year for you!


Information courtesy of CV Library