Starting a new job

How to make a great first impression on your colleagues, and set yourself up for success.

About 3 mins

Your first week in a new job is an important time. It’s a whirlwind of new places, introductions, tasks to master and meetings. Feeling nervous or apprehensive is natural – especially if it’s your first proper job.

But there are things you can do to make it easier. Our tips will help you give a good first impression.

Be prepared

Go through everything you need for your first day – your job contract, bank details and tax code. It’s handy to prepare a list of questions about what your role involves. You might also need to bring a form of ID, like a driver’s license or passport. Pack it all up the night before so that there’s no panic in the morning.

Calm your nerves

You don’t want to be in a fluster, even if you’re feeling nervous. Remember, they picked you – so you deserve to be there. Take a deep breath, and try our building confidence tips to give yourself a boost. 

Arrive on time

First of all, find out what time you’re expected to arrive and who you should ask for. Then plan your journey, making sure you consider things like rush-hour traffic and parking. Make sure you’re also punctual for meetings.

Ask questions. Lots of them!

The more you ask when you start, the more knowledge you’ll have in future when you need it. If you’re not sure about something, or you just want to know more, ask. Listen to the answer and take notes. It shows you’re eager to learn and interested in your new job.

Figure out who’s who

Meet as many people as possible and find out what they do. Remembering everyone’s name can be a struggle when you meet lots of people at once, so make a note of who they are and their role.

Find something to do

Not sure what to do with yourself after you’ve been introduced to everybody? Use some time to learn everything you can about how your role fits in with the rest of the company. Show your initiative and ask for some tasks to get started or information on what you’ll be working on.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Having got the job you should feel confident in your ability to do it. However, it’s important to recognise when you’re struggling or need support.

Speak to your manager if you’re finding things difficult. Find out if there’s training available or someone in a similar position who can help you get to grips with things.

Take on the boring bits

The job advert made it seem exciting – especially if it’s something you’ve been studying towards. But every job has its fair share of fiddly and downright dull tasks too, and as the new person you’ll be expected to muck in. Learn how to do them and carry them out well, and you’ll show that you’re a hard worker. You’ll also learn a lot about your new company and how it works.

Learn to deal with office politics

Every office is different, and getting to grips with the atmosphere and management style can be tricky. Be open, straightforward and friendly, and don’t get bogged down by workplace politics.