What to Do Before Starting a New Job

August 2, 2018
Career Development

Making it here is half the journey! After accepting a job offer, signing a contract, and finalizing a start date for a new project or job, whether it’s freelance or full-time, you might be wondering, “Now what?” While you should definitely feel accomplished and be able to relax a little more now that you’ve gotten through the interview process, there are also some important steps to take before starting a new job.

To help you have as smooth a transition as possible, we’ve compiled a round-up of the most practical things you should do before your first day at a new job. You might not have time to do all of them, and that’s okay, but it is possible to get through most of them within the first few weeks! Read on to find out what to do before starting a new job.

Research the company and the team you’ll be working with.
Getting to know the names of the co-workers you’ll be working with, looking at their profiles on LinkedIn, and getting a feel for the team is a great way to prepare for work before even getting there. Understanding roles and duties before you even start is a good way to begin to figure out what yours are as well.

Confirm how your manager and colleagues want to communicate.
Figure out how everyone in your workspace and the people you’ll be working with most closely communicate. Do they prefer to e-mail, Slack, Gchat, or do they have open door policies? One of the most important questions you can and should ask early on when starting a new job is how the people around you like to communicate, and not assuming they communicate the same way that you do or the way past managers or colleagues and team members have in the past. Set up standards for open communication and communication methods early on to set yourself up for success.

Plan out your commute.
If you’ll be commuting and not working remotely, becoming familiar with the route you’ll be taking to work and what your commute will be like is important to help you feel prepared for your first day. It will also ensure that you leave early enough to get there with time to spare. Having a good idea of how long it will take will also help should there be any unplanned obstacles the day of!

Plan your outfits.
Not just for the first day or first week! You’ll want to make sure that you have the kinds of clothing and outfits that are most practical and comfortable for whatever work you’ll be doing. Will you be working remotely? Make sure that you have clothes that aren’t just pajamas or sweatpants, but that are comfortable and also help you feel prepared to take on the day! Will you be working in an office? Check what the dress code is and find something that works for the environment but is comfortable and reflects your personal style.

Pack your bags and materials that you’ll want for your workspace.
Make sure to ask your manager or others that you’ve been in touch with what kinds of materials you might need. Do you need your own laptop, a notebook, or anything specific? In addition, plan out and pack a bag of items you’ll need at your desk, or that will make you feel most comfortable. Will you be bringing food and snacks or planning to order out for lunch? These details might seem small, but making yourself feel comfortable at work will help you to feel as prepared and productive as possible.

Prepare yourself to make a good first impression, and have a positive attitude about work.
Plan to spend some time getting to know people within the first day or first few weeks. Not everyone will have the time to speak with you or set up coffee or a team outing, and that’s okay. However, getting to know people that you’re working with, making a good impression on your manager and the team you’re working with, and showing that you have a positive attitude and want to be a part of the team is crucial when starting a new job, no matter what it is. This shows that you see your work as part of a unit and that you don’t think it’s solely about you.
Pre-work jitters are normal for a new job, but you don’t have to let them get the best of you. If you’re still worried, you can give yourself a pep talk. However, if you try to work on all of these things before starting, you’re sure to be well-prepared.

All the best