Ten things to do before starting a new job

You got the job. You negotiated your salary. You have a start date and you are looking forward to the new role. What should you be doing before you start a new job? For me, I will be spending my last week off getting organised and planning a sensible routine for new job. I also have some preparation to do.

1.     Stay in touch with your new employer

It might take a little time to check references, a contract issued and arrangements made so you may not start immediately. Do try and stay in touch with your new employer. Check if you can help chase up references. Ask if you can pop in and say hello before the start date. Your new colleagues will be curious to see you too. This will help with tip two.

2.     Know where you are going

Your interview might not have been in your day-to-day place of work so check where you report on your first day.  Make sure you have a start time and contact name. You should plan your journey to work too so you know which bus to get or where to park etc. to be in plenty of time.

3.     What to wear on your first day

Your interview may have given you a clue to how smart or casual the dress code will be at your office. I tend to look at the person who is senior/line manager to you and dress for that post for the first day.  Then figure it out from there. Ultimately, be smart and professional. Remember to polish your shoes.

Of course, you may receive a uniform. Make sure you respond to any request for information about your size and preferences. If you are collecting the uniform on your first day make sure you have appropriate footwear that will go.

I am going to get up-to-date with the laundry and ironing so I have choices for the first week.

4.     Plan your routine

I haven’t done a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 for a while so I am re-planning my week. My days off used to be a Sunday and Monday and Monday would often be used for  errands and chores. I need to move these chores to weekends and evenings.

I have started doing my supermarket shop online. I really do dislike spending time in the supermarket.  I make bad choices when I can’t check what’s in the cupboards and am swayed by offers and treats. Like little rewards for getting to the supermarket in the first place. Now our shopping will be delivered on a Monday evening for the week ahead. All our breakfasts, lunch and dinners are organised in advance.

5.     Get a haircut

For me, nothing makes me feel more prepared for a new start than a haircut. When it’s freshly done it looks and feels better and there is much more chance of it behaving for the first few weeks.

6.     Extra-curricular activities

If you do any activities before or after work –  like exercise, volunteering or dance classes – figure out how this will fit in with a change of hours or location. You might want to skip these the first week until you know when you will leave and how long it takes to travel.

I suspended my gym membership a while ago. I didn’t want to decide which gym to go to until I knew where I would be working and how this would fit into my daily commute. Now I know which area of the city I am working in I can join the best gym and get started early into my new working routine.

7.     New stationery

In the first few weeks of my job I expect I will be meeting a lot of new people, learning what they do and taking in lots of new information. I have bought a cheerful new Moleskin notebook to write lots of it down. My post is a brand new one so I am sure I will be asked lots of questions and colleagues will want to share ideas and information. I will want to make sure to note this so I can get back to them and create a good impression and build trust.

8.     Swotting up

You will have prepared for interview so you will know something about the organisation and the industry. It would be a good idea to make sure you are up-to-date with industry news. You can anticipate what the initial priorities might be and make conversation with your new colleagues.

9.     The dreaded night before

Before new jobs, new terms and sometimes even new weeks I have struggled to sleep – even when I was a young girl it was a problem. I have found a few things help and it’s very like my routine from when I was six! I prepare what I am going to need the next day – handbag, notebook, look out an outfit. An evening bath, fresh PJs and an early night help me feel relaxed. I then do some reading in bed and try to stay away from my phone or tablet so I am ready to drift off. If I am rushing about straight before I go to bed it will take me longer to switch off.

If you do find yourself lying awake for a bit, don’t get into the trap where you panic about not sleeping. You will get into a vicious circle where it is harder to sleep! I find lying still and taking deep breaths helps you stay calm and if you count the breaths you will drift off. Resting in bed is still better than being up, watching television and getting worked up.

10.  The first day of the new job!

Hopefully you will have had a good sleep, you will be ready and you won’t be too nervous for breakfast. I really do recommend you try and eat something – especially because you don’t know when coffee break or lunchtime is yet! I am lucky because my husband makes my breakfast while I am in the shower – and sometimes even makes up my lunch too! Get dressed, take deep breaths and remember a big smile. You won’t be expected to perform every task by yourself from day 1. Be friendly, ask questions and enjoy your first day in your new job.

Over to you

When was the last time you started a new job? Was it a good experience? Were you prepared? What did you do?

Do you have any tips for employers on how to make a new start feel welcome? What makes a good impression?

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