Whether you’re starting with a new company, moving up to a more senior role or changing careers, try these tips to get your new job off to a great start.

The night before your first day

Make the morning easy for yourself by laying out your outfit and planning your travel route the night before. Leave yourself extra time just in case you get lost or delayed.

Your first day will go much more easily if you prepare your mind and body with a good night’s sleep. Of course, it’s not always easy to sleep when you’re nervous or excited, but you can give yourself the best chance by having an early night and relaxing before bed with a hot bath or some calming music. If you really can’t sleep, don’t worry. Do some simple meditation to relax your mind and recharge your body.

Give yourself permission to settle in

Be pleasant and friendly, but don’t expect to wow the whole place on your first day with a hot-shot performance. Your primary job on your first day or two is to settle in and find out how things work, so keep your eyes and ears open, noting who does what and what the company’s culture is like. Keep smiling and keep listening.

Draw yourself a map

Your first few days will be a dizzying whirl of names, faces and job roles. Keep yourself oriented by drawing out a quick desk-map of your new office, with each person’s name and job role next to their seat. This can save you some seriously awkward moments when you’re told to ask someone a question, or you want to greet or introduce colleagues. It’ll also help you cement your first impressions of people, and speed up your understanding of the roles and hierarchy of the organisation.

Remember – they chose you

If you feel overwhelmed or nervous on your first day, that’s totally natural. You might even feel a bit out of your depth at first. But remember, your experience, your application and your performance at interview, showed your new employer you were right for the job. All you need to do now is keep being you and trust in your instincts and your ability to learn.

Be a pair of fresh eyes

One way you can add value to a new team straight away is by offering a fresh perspective on the way things are done. Turn your inexperience into a benefit by offering to look over projects or products your team is working on with a fresh pair of eyes. (Always ask before doing this, and make sure the team’s receptive to your input – you don’t want to be seen as critical.)

Find a quick win or two to boost your confidence

Your first few weeks don’t need to be the pinnacle of your career. But if you can find a few ways to bring benefits to the company early on, you’ll be cementing a good first impression and creating a sense of achievement for yourself too. Often you’ll have knowledge from your previous role that you can bring to a new team. It doesn’t have to be huge – maybe you know some tricks you that will help people use their email software better?

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