Have you been demotivated at work and thinking if you should find a better job? or are you one of the job seekers who have secretly looking for work and just been offered a job recently? We’ll cover ten steps for a successful first day, plus a couple of things to avoid. By the end, we hope that you feel more excited when you are starting your job search journey.
Here are some 10 tips on what you should do before accepting a job offer.
#1: Try to take some time off between jobs
If at all possible, give yourself some time between jobs. This isn’t just so that you can spend a week catching up on all your favourite shows, although we certainly wouldn’t discourage some relaxation time! Instead, the real benefit of taking a few days or even a week between jobs is that it will give you time to sort out a few practical details, such as tying up loose ends from your previous job and completing a few logistical tasks for your new one. We’ll cover some common examples of these in just a moment.
Scheduling time between your last job and your new one isn’t always feasible, but it can be extremely helpful in preparing yourself for this new role. After all, no one wants to show up on their first day at work distracted by their unfinished to-do list.
#2: Tie a bow on your previous job
Whether you left on good terms or are happy to close that career chapter, you don’t want any loose ends to distract you from your new role. If there are any last-minute tasks or outstanding paperwork to complete before you’re effectively done with your job, get it off your shoulders now.
And within a week of saying goodbye, make sure that you connect with your previous co-workers on LinkedIn. You never know when your professional paths may cross in the future!
#3: Research your new company
In prepping for your job interview, you likely did a bit of research on your potential new company. Now, you can dig a little deeper. If your onboarding materials include a work manual, for instance, take the time to go through it. It will give you valuable information on your company’s structure, policies, dress code, and general business operations.
If you want to go further, you might do a bit of market research about your company’s field, as well. This will give you a better understanding of the context in which your new company exists, which will be especially helpful if you were hired to bring a fresh, new perspective to the team. The idea isn’t to show up on day one with a list of suggestions or criticisms, but rather to have a good foundational knowledge of your new company.
There will still, of course, be plenty of things that you can only learn on the job. But, your initiative will be both impressive and time-saving!
#4: Sort your superannuation
If your super has been in the back of your mind for ages, starting a new job is the perfect time to put it front and centre. This is your chance to look into possibly consolidating the funds that you’ve accrued over your previous jobs, and being more intentional about the ones you’ll receive from your new employer.
When you start a new job, you have the choice between an employer-chosen super fund and one that you choose yourself. While the former can be more convenient, it might not be your best option. So, if you’ve given yourself a bit of breathing time between jobs, why not look into choosing the super fund that will offer the lowest fees and highest returns!
#5: Prep your home office space
Whether you’ll be working full-time or are you switching to work remotely, you’ll want to have a designated office. This will ensure that you’re able to focus while at home and provide a professional setting for work calls and video meetings.
Your home office doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles of a corner office, but you will want to have a clean, organised desk, comfortable chair, and reliable internet connection. And, if you’re going to be spending time on video calls, two things will make a world of difference: plenty of natural lighting and a neutral wall for your backdrop.
Finally, no job guide would be complete without recommending a quality notebook. You’re going to be jotting down a lot of notes in your first few weeks or months. Do yourself a favour and get a notebook to keep the details straight!
#6: Plan for your commute and parking
For the days when you’re going to be working in an office, there are two key considerations: how will you get there and where will you park?
Let’s start with your commute. We all know that horrible feeling of showing up late at your new job because the navigation app didn’t account for morning traffic or you got lost on the way. This is where your break between jobs will once again come in handy: you’re going to do a test drive. Make sure to leave the house as if you were going to work on time, and then see how long it takes you.
There’s an added benefit here, as well. Practicing your morning commute is a brilliant way to manage anxiety, especially if you’re scared about starting a new job! You may still be nervous about meeting the team, but you won’t have to worry about the stress of your commute once you know what to expect.
Next, you’ll want to organise your city parking options in advance of your first day. This will save you time and money, and take one thing off of your to-do list on your first day at work.
Depending on where your office will be, you’ll likely have a variety of options to choose from. In general, off-street parking, with companies like Wilson or Secure, will be slightly more reliable and quicker than finding the limited on-street parking that Brisbane, Melbourne or other congested cities have to offer. But even when you do find a car park offering convenient central parking, not all off-street parking options are necessarily affordable.
Instead of driving around and battling other drivers for that perfect spot, look at your options on Parkhound. Parkhound has the cheap parking that Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane drivers are looking for.
Parkhound allows you to search affordable, convenient parking options wherever your new job is. In fact, you can book a monthly parking space in advance at 40-60% cheaper than car parks in the same area.
#7: Map out the amenities near your new job
If you’re looking for a way to maximise your new schedule, get to know the area around your work.
On the one hand, you can put together a list of local restaurants and coffee shops to try near your new job. Make sure to put together a varied list. After all, you’re not going to want to eat the same kinds of foods all the time!
But it’s not just local restaurants and coffee shops that you’ll want to explore. When you know where your nearest pharmacies, pet stores, and gyms are, you can plan out your chores and activities in a more intentional way. This will save you time and money, and take some of the stress out of transitioning to a new work schedule.
#8: Set some professional goals for yourself
Starting a new job is often a time of momentum and hope. Take advantage of that energy by writing out some goals for this new job. This activity will give you purpose during the transition period, and a boost of confidence as you get started in your new role.
Here are a few examples of professional goals for a new job:
- Learn everyone’s name within the first two weeks. It may seem like an obvious goal, but learning everyone’s names and roles requires some effort! And your new team members will really appreciate the gesture.
- Find your unique place on the team. Do you want to be the team member with all the answers? The one that others can rely on? If there is a particular role that you think can make the team stronger, why not carve out that space for yourself?
- Work towards a good first review. A review may feel like a long ways off, but you can start working towards a positive one from your first day in the office.
- Learn a new skill or tool. Is this job going to offer you more opportunities for public speaking? Will you become more proficient in a type of software or tool? Make it your goal to get better at these skills, and you’ll make waves in your new role.
These goals are good starting points that can apply to any work setting. But feel free to make ones that are more closely related to the type of work you’ll be doing.
You may even sit down with your manager or supervisor and ask them whether there are any goals they would like you to focus on in the first few weeks or months. Not only will this help you stand out as an ambitious employee, but it will also give you more direction in your day-to-day work.
#9: Review the job description
As your first day at work gets closer, you can take some time to review your written job description. What exactly will your employer be expecting you to accomplish in this role? What will you do if you’re asked to do something outside of that role?
This is an important step in building appropriate work boundaries. It’s common for new employees to say yes to every request that comes their way, even if it doesn’t fall in the scope of their job. If you can establish clear boundaries based on your job description from the beginning, you’ll better be able to execute your job tasks.
Once you have a good feel for your job description, see if you can summarise it in 60 seconds or less. On your first day, you’re going to be asked multiple times to introduce yourself. You’ll make a good first impression if you can say not only who you are but also a quick rundown of what you’ve been hired to do.
#10: Get a good night’s sleep
Your first response to this one might be an eye-roll. Surely, if you’re a bundle of nerves, a good night of sleep will be out of the question. But, if you can stick to a healthy routine the night before your first day, you’ll be much better prepared for your new job.
So, eat a good meal, squeeze in some exercise or a nice walk, get away from screens, and go to bed at a reasonable time. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
Things to avoid before accept a new job offer
This may seem minor, but taking some time to read the contract will ensure you are getting what you deserve
Avoid accepting the offer immediately
It’s completely understandable that you would be excited and would like to accept your new job offer on the spot! But it’s best to take a moment and read through all the conditions of the contract.
The job offer could have a potential impact on your career and your lifestyle. Understand the requirements of your duties and the remuneration listed on the contract.
- Read the contract carefully as it will state the minimum number of hours you are required to work for the company and if you would be compensated for overtime.
- Make sure that the remuneration discussed during the interview is what is written in the contract
Most importantly know what the anti-competition requirements are that come with this job. There are usually restrictions in place where you would not be allowed to work for a competitor in the same industry for a certain number of years. Ask yourself if this is acceptable as this would impact your future career should you be looking for a new role in your city.
Know that it is perfectly ok to ask and clarify the job contract provided to you and it is also ok to reject the offer terms provided if they do not meet your expectations.
Lay out your first day at work outfit; you’re ready for the new job!
We hope that these tips will help you feel confident and excited about your first day. Remember that you were hired for a reason, everyone was new once, and you have something unique to offer.
You’re going to do great on your first day at work!