Starting a new job: The things you need to know

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Starting a new job can be pretty nerve racking. It’s the time when you’re back to being the ‘new kid in class’ and about to throw yourself headlong into a new working environment. You might have got a flavour for your new job from your interview and application process but there’s always that nagging sense of the unknown – ‘will the people like me?’ ‘will I be able to do the job?’ etc.

These nerves are only natural. Provided you start off on the right footing they will also soon pass. But how about that right footing? What do you need to know about starting a new job?


First impressions can only be made once. Turning up on time in the right place to get started with your job is an absolute must. Be early if possible. That way people are likely to be able to spend a little time with you before they begin their own working day and it’ll show that you’re keen to get going.

If you’re worried about, say, not knowing how long it will take to commute to your new workplace then try a dummy run in advance or search for the suggested journey time on the AA route planner and add extra on for traffic.

Dress code

Speaking of first impressions, the way you dress is important for this too. While your new employer might have given you a vague steer on the dress code, it’s never easy to know exactly what to turn up in on day one, especially if your workplace doesn’t have a uniform.

The trick here is to ‘dress up’ for the first day. There’s nothing wrong with turning up in a suit or smart dress. If other people are dressed more casually you can gradually gravitate towards this but no-one will think worse of you for being over-smart, but they will if you’re overly-casual.

Fit into the environment

One of the most important things you can do when you first start a job is listen. Listen to the things your new colleagues tell you, clearly, but also listen to what colleagues say to each other and gauge the way people interact with employees, clients and customers.

That’s true whether you’re heading into a normal office environment or even if you’ve snapped up one of the jobs in education here. Even in a school you’ve got to know the right tone for colleagues (fellow teachers), customers (children) and clients (parents). Every employee is an ambassador for the company they work for, by listening out for the way your new company operates you’ll get a feel for how to be an ambassador too.

Respect others

No matter what your new job is, it doesn’t pay to wade in and start throwing your weight around. Show due respect to your new colleagues and bide your time before questioning the way they do things. As this piece from IT Business Edge states, you need to show that you’re a team player. This will earn you respect and mean that, in time, you can start to have an influence. By trying to run before you can walk you risk making yourself unpopular.


You need to strike the right balance in those first few days. You want to ask enough questions so that you can dive head first into doing something worthwhile, but you don’t want to make a nuisance of yourself. Be patient when required but show that you’re eager to take on tasks.

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