Congratulations, you’re hired! Now how do I survive a new job?

In this posting of the blog, I thought I’d change it up a bit and talk about what you should do AFTER you’ve just been hired, rather than the job search. For many of you, starting a new job can be exciting. But let’s face it, change is also not easy for most of us and starting a new routine such as a new job can be daunting. So here are some tips that might help ease the first day or week at your new job.

Making a Good First Impression at your New Workplace:

Always, always make a good first impression. As it is often quoted for interviews “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”, this also applies to your first day at a new job. You will meet new people who will form first impressions, often within seconds. Have you thought about what impression you want to give your new manager, coworkers or team members?

Smile. You will come across as friendly and approachable. If smiling is not your forte, make a conscious effort to have a natural smile or at least a relaxed face. Practice in front of the mirror the night before so your facial muscles become used to that feeling. While you’re at it, you might as well practice introducing yourself. A simple, “hi, my name is (add your name). I’m the new (add your position) and I’ll be working (add the department name if you are being introduced to people outside of your team).”

Clothing. Hopefully during the interview, you had a sense of the style of clothing that most people wear within the company or department. You want to try to match the organization’s clothing style. Don’t worry if you are overdressed during the first week or so. You’re still getting used to the company and the people. Gradually though, you should be more aware of the style and be able to dress similarly. If you’re really uncertain about how formal to go, ask someone about the company’s dress code.

Meeting New People:

Interact with coworkers. It’s a great idea to join your coworkers for coffee breaks or lunch if you are not needed at a meeting or expected to complete tasks with deadlines. For me, I’m often unsure if people eat out or bring their own lunches on the first day. I’m often left in an awkward situation running to find a lunch place because everyone brought their lunches or having to throw out my food since coworkers bought their lunches. My strategy now is to bring a non-perishable lunch such as a peanut butter and jam sandwich on the first day of work. This way, regardless if they eat out or bring their own lunch, I can join them. Plus I don’t have to worry about throwing out my lunch since it’s non-perishable.

Make friends outside of your department. Most companies will have accounting, payroll, IT and HR staff. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself to them. Knowing more people in the company can help you settle easier plus it allows you to increase your network. You never know when one day  you need IT to help you with your computer!

Be open to learning… listen more than you speak….ask questions to clarify…there is so much good advice that can be offered to you for your new job. The main thing is be open, friendly and flexible.

Start creating your job new job strategies by using your past experience on a new job, much like I did. I’d love to hear some of your first day strategies that you developed. Feel free to share by adding comments.

Jennifer4About the Author: Jennifer York is the manager of the Job Options BC program in Vancouver, Surrey and Port Coquitlam for ISSofBC. While working as an employment counsellor, she facilitated and coached immigrants, professionals and students in their job search, both in group and individualized sessions. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services.

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