Starting a new job the right way: Guide to success

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Every new job provides an exciting challenge for Ireland’s talented workforce. Whether you’re joining one of the country’s exciting tech companies or embarking on a career in Ireland’s exciting cultural institutions, the first day can always be a mix of anticipation and apprehension.

In this article, we’re walking you through the process of starting a new job, including how to handle your nerves and the best ways to be prepared. 

Understanding what to expect when starting a new job

Starting at a new job is a uniquely positive, yet scary experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first job ever or you’re a seasoned pro with plenty of experience on your CV.

A new job almost always brings new people, new locations, and new processes you won’t be familiar with. So, understandably you may be nervous about this new journey, especially if you’re starting an apprenticeship or graduate programme.

But don’t let the nerves get the best of you. Here are the top 3 priorities in a new job:

The first day jitters

The cocktail of emotions on your first day, from excitement to nervousness, is normal. It happens to everyone, even if they’re in an executive job or boss of the business.

Don’t forget, everyone you worked with has experienced the same thing. They’ve all been the “newbie” and they probably will again. 

These jitters are not just natural; they’re actually a positive sign. It shows your excitement about this new opportunity and is indicative of your commitment to making a positive impact.

If nerves really are getting the best of you, resources like Anxiety Ireland are on hand to help to provide support.

Navigating the new landscape 

The initial weeks in your new role will likely see you learning the lay of the land. This means meeting new people and undergoing training about company processes and policies. 

Typically, these weeks are less intensive allowing you to acclimatise to the company operational flow. You’ll get to know the people you’ll be working with from day to day as well as any line managers you may report to. Be professional, but also just be yourself. It’s these people you’ll be spending time with, so try to find common ground in hobbies and interests.

Starting a new job remotely

If you’re embarking on a remote or hybrid career, things can seem a little different, especially if you’ve only worked on-site in the past. People have to work a little hard to get to know each other, as you may not have as much opportunity to speak face-to-face.

Make sure to set up a dedicated workspace which will help you be more productive and professional while working at home. It’s also important to be mindful of communication when working exclusively online. Sometimes the intention of your words can be blurred when written down. As long as you remain polite and professional, however, there should be nothing to worry about.

Starting a new job the right way: Essential tips for success

Starting a new job or changing jobs the right way takes a little preparation on your part. It’s all about making sure you’re ready to make a good impression from the get go. Little things like making sure you know the route to work to ensure you’re not late, or buying new work clothes to look the part go along.

Here are the first step in getting a good start at a new job:

Before your first day

Your new job doesn’t begin exclusively on your start date. There’s things that need to be done in the days before to make sure you’re ready to go, including:

  • Reviewing your job description: Take another look at your job description before your first day. This will refresh your memory about your role’s expectations and responsibilities. 
  • Researching the company culture: Ireland attracts a diverse range of businesses and with that comes different company cultures. Explore the company’s website, social media platforms, and any available employee testimonials to get a feel for the environment.
  • Prepare necessary documents: Organise and prepare any documents or information you might need to submit to HR, such as identification documents, banking details, and any required certifications. 
  • Plan your commute or workspace setup: If you’re working onsite, plan your commute to avoid any delays on your first day. If you’re working remotely, set up your workspace in a way that maximises productivity and minimises distractions. 

Questions to ask

Once you’re in the door and you’ve met with your line manager or the person who will be handling your training, you’ll have the opportunity to ask some questions. 

Here are some good ways to information:

  • Inquire about specific expectations: Understanding what’s expected of you in the first few weeks can put you at ease. Ask your manager about immediate priorities and how success will be measured in your role. 
  • Ask about the team dynamic: Every team has its unique dynamic and understanding it can help you integrate more smoothly. Inquire about team meetings, communication preferences, and any ongoing projects. 
  • Get remote ready: If you’re starting a job remotely, it’s good to understand the tools and channels the team uses for communication. Ask about the preferred platforms for different types of communication, such as email for formal requests or a messaging app for quick questions. 
  • Seek clarity on points of contact: Knowing who to approach for different queries can save you time and help you resolve issues more efficiently. Ask your manager or HR about the go-to persons for IT support, HR-related queries, employee benefits, and any other relevant areas.

Making a great first impression

First impressions are important. They can set the tone for tenure at this new company. If you do everything already mentioned you’re on the right path. But we have a few more tips to help you stand out and make a great first impression.

  • Positive body language and clear communication: Even in a virtual setting, your body language and communication style can set the tone for your interactions. Maintain eye contact, smile, and nod during conversations to show engagement. 
  • Be proactive: Show your eagerness to learn and contribute from the very beginning. Take initiative by asking thoughtful questions, volunteering for tasks, and sharing ideas when appropriate.
  • Dress professionally: Dressing professionally, in line with the company’s culture, is important even if you’re working from home. If you’re unsure about the dress code, it’s better to err on the side of being slightly more formal on your first day. 

After a few weeks you’ll start to adjust to your new job. This comes as you’ll quickly learn the unspoken rules that guide day-to-day interactions.  

Conquering anxiety and thriving in your new role

Managing anxiety and first day jitters is important to help you focus. Try deep breathing exercises, short meditations, and positive affirmations as these can be effective in calming any bubbling nerves.

You may experience imposter syndrome when starting a new job, this is natural too. Build confidence in yourself by focusing on the facts. Instead of allowing your brain to create stories, try to focus on what’s actually happened–the facts. It’s also important to acknowledge your feelings, validate them, and then let them go.

Most importantly, however, is to remember that it’s okay to feel anxious when changing your job or starting something new. It means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, which is where growth happens.

Building confidence and finding your place

Building confidence at your new job starts by taking small steps and a dash of boldness. Start by acknowledging any victory you may have. Whether it’s wrapping up your first project or overcoming a challenge. Try to celebrate these milestones as they demonstrate the progress you’re making in your career.

Don’t let any setbacks get under your skin. Facing obstacles is to be expected in any role, but these are your best opportunities for growth. They help you to deepen your understanding of the work and upskill on the job

Make allies with other members of your team. Look for mentors and offer support and wisdom to those who may need it from you. This helps to build a sense of camaraderie and can help you to feel more settled in your new role.

Start your new job confidently with Recruit Ireland

Every new opportunity or career change offers a great path to growth and it’s important to keep yourself knowledgeable to lay the groundwork for success. If you’re about to start a new career in Ireland, heading over to Recruit Ireland’s Advice Centre can keep you refreshed and knowledge about changes in your industry and role.

Recruit Ireland offers continued support through interviews with industry leaders and when you’re ready to go again, check out the job board for an exciting new promotion. 



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