Friday, 24 July 2015

Tips for starting a new job...

As you may have seen (!) I have just started a new job and although it has been a bit of a whirlwind so far, I thought sharing some hints and tips might be useful to anyone starting somewhere new. I was at my last job for 3 years so it has been a while since I was a newbie and I was in a right tizz last Monday! I thought I would share my tips for starting a new job and my thought processes for them. Please bear in mind that this is only my experience and one working in a fairly smart office so please be led by your company's guidelines!

Left- dress: Oasis, shoes: Marks & Spencer, middle- top: Warehouse, trousers: ASOS, shoes: French Sole c/o Spartoo, right- dress: Sainsbury's, shoes: c/o Tesco

* Wear an old favourite on your first day- you need to look professional but feeling comfortable is so important! Originally I was going to wear trousers but I always feel more comfortable in a dress so I went for a navy Tesco dress (which sadly I didn't manage to get pictures of). I am contradicting myself slightly here as I only bought this dress in the charity shop a few weeks ago but both the colour and shape felt classic Maria so it was hardly out of my comfort zone! So far I have worn my smarter dresses and trousers with blouses rather than t-shirts and have only had positive feedback which is good!

* Be led by your colleagues on dress code- this will save any embarrassment, for example I found out on day one that jeans were a big no no (except on dress down Fridays) so I had to mentally revise some planned outfits as a result. I did find out that brightly coloured hair was OK though so that gave me some food for thought ;) This also means that you won't go out and spend unnecessary money on clothes that won't be suitable, whilst giving you an excuse to buy 'stuff for work'!

* Neutral make-up is key for your first few days. I am a massive fan of bright lipsticks but my first day was probably not the time to be worrying about whether it needs reapplying or if I have smudged it. I went for soft peachy lipstick and kept the rest pretty simple. You want people to remember your face, not just your make-up! Now I am in week 2 I feel a lot more comfortable and I am back to my usual colourful self!

* Wear comfy shoes- you will be introduced to a lot of people and probably shown round the office. I have done a lot of walking this week so have been wearing flat shoes to save my poor battered feet. It is only a mile or so each way but I may have to become one of those people who wears trainers to walk in and just change my shoes at work instead...




* Get a floor plan- this is really helpful when trying to learn people's names and also means you don't have to wander around awkwardly trying to find the toilets...

* Take plasters, paracetamol etc. but don't overpack your bag- I am very accident prone so being prepared is key but there is nothing worse than having to heft a huge bag around, especially on an unfamiliar commute!

* Take in a water bottle- this at least means you can stay hydrated until you know what the situation is on tea and coffee. There's nothing worse than having a dry scratchy throat, especially as you will be doing a lot of talking.

* Food- luckily my diabetes means I have an excuse for carting around so much food (ahem) but I can guarantee that you will be absolutely starving. Nerves and adrenaline are a lethal combination and if you're anything like me, you will be ravenous by 10 o' clock so making sure you have a bag filled with food is always a good idea...

* Take a notebook and a pen in with you- I took the one which I had used for interview prep and was able to refamiliarize myself with all the notes I had made previously, whilst waiting for people to arrive etc. It gave me something to focus on and I felt slightly less out of my depth as a result.

* Bring something to do- Until you know what the deal is with your training schedule and lunch tomes, it is probably best to not go wandering off at lunchtime. I normally have a book or something to do in my bag and so far I have read The Talented Mr Ripley in my lunch break and have nearly finished The Secret History so far. I never seem to get much reading done at home so my desk is an ideal spot to catch up on my 'to read' list...

* Chewing gum- this is pretty self explanatory but I am always super paranoid about my breath, especially if I am meeting lots of new people.

*Take up opportunities to make friends- I am super shy when I meet new people and being the newbie is always hard, especially when you are moving into a close knit team but I have found that gestures like going out for lunch or offering to make tea or coffee will go a long way towards endearing you to your new colleagues. Obviously you are all lovely people but it doesn't hurt to remind people of this! ;)

* Ask lots of questions- you may feel awkward about it but it is better than going wrong and having to explain that to your new boss or team. They will want to help you and you can get away with pestering people a lot more easily in the first few weeks!

* Write everything down: I am a keen note-taker anyway but your induction means taking in a lot of information and having things written down makes it a lot easier to go back over them when you have time.

* Don't be afraid to push for training or to be included in meetings- when you are new, people can forget to include you in an an email or add your name to a list. I gave found that being perky and inviting myself along to things I think are relevant or helpful for my job has been really useful and things have slotted into place a lot quicker.Being pushy can be hard but it saves scrabbling to catch up later!

* Give yourself time to get used to the change- moving jobs is a big deal and you will probably be massively overtired and emotional for your first few weeks. Make sure you take care of yourself and don't beat yourself up if you haven't got your routine settled yet. I am not ashamed to say that ready meals and chippy runs have kept me going this past fortnight along with long showers and plenty of early nights...

* Sort out your routine- I am someone who thrives on structure in their life so finding a new morning routine has been important, if a little tricky. I found that the easiest way to do it was work out how long it would take me to get to work, and then work backwards to see how long I needed to get ready in the morning. It's not quite set in stone yet, but I'm getting there!


Hopefully this is slightly helpful for people, please do let me know if you have any other questions and I will do my best to answer them!
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9 comments

Lily Lipstick said...

Love these tips. I definitely agree with wearing something tried and tested and being led by colleagues on what is and isn't suitable to wear. My office is "business casual" and compared to my previous job it's a lot less "suit-y" which can only be a good thing! Hope you're settling in well. x

Helen Fielding said...

God I hate being new! I'm just going to stay in my school forever so I never have to be new again lol (not really).
Good work on settling into your new job!

The Style Rawr said...

Luckily my new place has a really casual dress code, I definitely went by what everyone else was wearing and I agree, asking questions is key!

Tara x

Lucy in the Clouds said...

Fantastic post Maria - hopefully I'll be needing these tips sooner rather than later! Glad to see you're settling in and enjoying your new job! x

Sarah said...

Such a great post Maria!


My Sentimental Heart

x

Winnie said...

This is such a useful post Marie! I'll definitely make a note of some of these for future jobs etc! Hope you're settling in well x

Armelle said...

Dress code at the office is everything ! Checking other people helps avoiding mistakes !

www.caetera-moda.blogspot.com

xx

Lucy and Mary said...

Good luck with your job! I love the 1st outfit :) have a nice day :)

Welcome to my blog
www.blotterlife.com :))

SJ said...

This are such good tips Maria, and congratulations on your new job! I am (hopefully) about to be in the same situation, and I agree that you should wear an old favourite, something you know you look good in. Also – asking questions. So many people shy away from this but you aren't going to know everything two days into your job so I'd always prefer to stick my hand up than bumble along. Hope the new job is going well! x

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