New job – From getting the offer to the end of week 1
The call comes through, and they offer you the role you applied and interviewed for. Well done. Enjoy that moment. It is great to feel wanted and if it’s a dream role or a great company then feel proud of getting a job offer.
New jobs are very exciting but there is a lot to do when taking up an offer of a new role and lots to consider for your first days in the business.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you go through the process.
Taking up the offer
It is ok to take 24 hours before you accept. Some roles will have a variety of factors for you to consider, including the commute and the money. Take a moment and sleep on any big decisions. If you spend the night tossing and turning about the role then you might need to reconsider. However, if you have called family and friends already to share the good news, then accept formally either via a phone call or email, first thing the next morning.
Read the contract, don’t just sign it. Ask a friend about the clauses you don’t understand and if you think something is missing, contact the business and ask about them. Know your termination/leaving clauses and maternity leave rights before you start. It is always best to go into a workplace agreement with eyes wide open, so you understand what you are committing to.
Arrange a start date that works for you. They might offer some dates that work for them but find something that will work for everyone. If you are moving across from another role considering taking a week or two between the roles to allow you to switch off from one to the other. You want to go into the new role with your head in the right space and all your personal administration up-to-date.
Finally, when discussing a start date, don’t hesitate to start on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. Sometimes Mondays are very busy in the office, and you will have more time to learn the role from other colleagues on less busy days. It means your first week is a little shorter which isn’t bad when you get information overload in week 1.
Some people dream of the moment they will give notice to their current manager. Even in our remote working world it is always best to resign by conversation. There is a high chance you will shock your manager so after giving them the news, give them some time to digest and call their boss for next steps. You will be asked to put your resignation in writing so prepare a short email or letter with your departure details.
Many businesses are keen to control staff departures in a specific way to manage clients, projects and risk. You might feel a lot of this process is out of your hands moving forward but from the moment you have given notice, you have gone from being a loyal employee to an outsider. Smile as much as you can through this process – you might not need them as a reference, but you never know who you might need in the future so keep your reputation intact.
Do your best to finish up what you are working on. Write handover notes even if the business hasn’t asked for them. You will be pulled off projects and unfortunately won’t be able to finish everything on your to do list. Even if the business doesn’t have a replacement for you by the time you leave do the best to set up for the next person as much as you can.
They might ask you for an exit interview. Some people love doing them as it provides them an opportunity to air any grievances, discuss issues or provide suggestions to make the business better. Most of the time exit interviews are conducted by HR and are unlikely to be able to make the positive changes in the business that have been suggested. You voted with your feet and are choosing to leave therefore how they choose to run the business moving forward isn’t your concern.
Before you know it, it will be your final day. Smile as much as you can. Enjoy the lunch. Wish everyone the best. Onwards and upwards.
Be on time and ready to go on day 1. Dress up again like the interview as you will be meeting numerous colleagues on the first day even if it’s a quick introduction. Be prepared to say a few things about yourself and your background as you meet and greet everyone.
If they haven’t sent over human resources details prior to your start ensure you have your bank account and other personal details on you so you can fill out any required paperwork. You can take this home and complete with help but the sooner you provide your bank account details the sooner you will get paid!
Hopefully, they have planned an induction scheduled for the first couple of days, if not the first week for you. This should give you an idea of who the key people are and allow you to meet them and learn anything you can from them. Think about some questions you can ask them to engage them. Ask about how your roles interact and how they like to be worked with. If you run out of time or think of other things you might like to know later, don’t hesitate to reach out to them for another session.
New jobs are very exciting but also hard work. Prepare to have to take on a lot of new information in a short amount of time. This can be draining so don’t plan much outside of the new job for the first couple of weeks. It is important you turn up and learn as much you can, as quickly as you can.
Everyone is new once and has to learn, so don’t be embarrassed about having to ask questions or for help. Write them down as you think of them in the first couple of weeks. This is a great time for you to see the business with fresh eyes and questioning how and why things are done is very healthy.
Spend some time getting your IT and desk set up to what is best for you. You want to ensue you can log into everything successfully and have things bookmarked and ready to use as needed. Set up your email signature as per company requirements too. It is always good to become friends with the IT person as they can really help you out as needed!
New roles are awkward to start but each day will get easier. Before you know it it will be the end of week one. Do something nice for yourself on a Friday night to celebrate the end of week one. Even if it’s a quiet bath.
Most new roles take about 6 weeks for you to feel comfortable and competent. At 3 months you will start feeling like you are contributing to the business. Then before you know it will be 6 months, and you will have forgotten about your last employer.
It takes time, patience and a lot of information gaining to get into a new role and business so give yourself time to learn and make it a wonderful career experience for yourself.