In recruitment land, January is a busy month.
We have a number of candidates starting new roles this week, and we have plenty of interviews in the diary for the rest of January. This is good news! Although being back in the office is still a major shock to the system.
Talking of offices – if you’re starting a new job this year, read on for some tips. And if you’ve already started a new role, don’t despair! It’s never too late to receive good advice.
- Before your start date: think about what you really want to get from this new position. Is it a stepping stone, a means to an end, or your ultimate dream role? Whatever it is, sketch out what you want to achieve, and by when. Remember that the people with the most successful careers are often those who started off with specific goals in mind – goals that get rewritten as they are achieved. Without a plan, you have nothing to aim for.
- Do your homework. If you’ve been given anything to read or prepare in advance, do it. It sounds obvious, but it doesn’t always happen.
- Check the journey, parking, dress code, and working hours, and get ready any documents / ID that you’ve been asked to bring on day 1. Speaking of which:
- On day 1: remember that first impressions count – again! You’ll have met some of the key players already, but it’s likely that some time has passed between the interview and now, so you’re basically starting from scratch. So don’t be late, and remember to take any documentation you were asked for.
- You’ll probably also meet plenty of other new people, for the first time. Be friendly to everyone, ask appropriate questions, show enthusiasm, and take the initiative if you need to.
- Some employers take the ‘onboarding’ process very seriously, and others don’t. We always recommend to our clients that they invest time and energy into the process, so that the new employee feels welcome and valued, but it doesn’t always happen this way, and it’s possible that you’ll find yourself thrown in at the deep end without much in the way of training or guidance. If this happens to you, take responsibility and sort it out. Your new boss might be busy, but you owe it to yourself and to your employer to put a plan in place. The worst result for both parties is if you leave after a few weeks because of this. It’s easily avoided.
- The early weeks: keep up the good work! You’re on a learning curve, steep or otherwise, so don’t be surprised when you get tired. But for the right job it will be worth the effort.
- Make sure you know exactly what is expected of you, and when your performance will be reviewed. Ask questions if you’re not sure – and even if your questions appear unwelcome, you still need to know. It’s far better to ask than to waste time barking up the wrong tree.
- Long term: remember your plan? It’s time to check that the job is as expected, and that you’re developing the skills and knowledge that will enable you to achieve those long-term goals.
- Communicate with colleagues whenever you need to. Remember that the person you work for isn’t necessarily a confident manager, and might be relieved when you come along to give feedback, to ask a question, or to voice a concern.
Bonus tip: it’s worth being aware of developments within your company, and your industry. There may be a change of ownership on the horizon, for example, or your manager might be looking for work. Opportunity sometimes knocks when you least expect it, and if your eyes are open you can benefit from this.
In summary, it all really comes down to planning and attitude. If you take time to consider both, you will do well.
Happy New Year!
P.S. if you’re considering a new job but don’t have anything yet lined up, have a look at our current vacancies page.