How to make an impact before you start a new role

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Walking through the doors of your new office to start your new role can be one of the most unnerving tasks we all eventually go through, so what can employees do to ensure they make a positive impact on their first day? Kate Allen, MD at Allen Associates, shares some key advice.

You’ve been selected from a shortlist as the most suitable candidate for the role. Whether the opportunity has fallen into your lap or you’ve been pounding the pavement for weeks, it’s time to celebrate – your new job signals a fresh start and is a chance to showcase your expertise and take on a new challenge.

Nervous? Don’t be. Starting a new job will always be daunting: if it isn’t, you’ve lost your passion. Then again, familiarising yourself with a whole new set of rules and responsibilities, while learning the names of your colleagues and settling into the culture makes for an incredibly full-on first week.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do ahead of your start date to ensure you hit the ground running from day one.

Do your homework
Just like exams, many candidates have a bad habit of only researching potential employers prior to an interview before subsequently forgetting what they learned straight after. If successful, their first week will still be spent getting up to speed instead of making an impact. Time is money, after all, so the sooner you can get started, the better.

Of course, employers don’t expect their new recruits to arrive with in-depth knowledge of how the company operates. However, if you can arrive on day one with a fundamental understanding of what they do and their history in the field, your employer will take this as a sign of your dedication in getting the job done.

Ask your boss
Your boss-to-be may have answered many of your questions in the interview, but since being offered the job, it’s likely you have a few follow-up queries. It’s a good idea to ask prior to your start date exactly what’s expected from you, for example, in your first week.

Is there anything you should bring from home? What kind of attire should you wear? The last thing you want is to turn up unprepared and have to give yourself a pep-talk in front of the mirror later that night to convince yourself that first impressions don’t count. Unsurprisingly, they do: you should aim to leave your new boss feeling satisfied with their choice and excited to see what you can do. With this in mind, there’s really no harm in being over-prepared.

“Once you’re familiar with your future team and the work you will be doing, you can look forward to your first day without fear of the unknown.”

Offer your input
Having been selected for the role, there’s a good chance your new employer values your expertise. Yes, you may feel like a teacher’s pet asking your boss if you can be of assistance before you’ve taken your first steps in your new workplace, but if they are dealing with a particular problem that could benefit from your perspective, why wait?

If there are any tasks that you can take on in the days or weeks running up to your start date that will make your first week that little bit easier, don’t hesitate to ask. If anything, your future boss will appreciate you taking initiative and be impressed by your commitment.

Meet the team
Within their first week, most new recruits will undergo an indication as part of their onboarding. During this time, they will usually meet with new team members and other staff to learn more about their role in the company and how both parties can work together.

If you’re looking to make an impact before you even start, why not reach out to your future colleagues to see if they might be free for a quick coffee or bite to eat? Not only will this make your first day less intimidating, you’ll likely be able to gain valuable insight into the company culture and get a clearer picture of what to expect.

Familiar with your future team and the work you will be doing, you can look forward to your first day without fear of the unknown.

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    Jade Burke

    Jade Burke, Editor for PA Life

    All stories by: Jade Burke