Starting a new job can be intimidating – new people, a new environment, new expectations and actually a whole new world! But it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. There are some basic guidelines that you can follow to ensure you start off on the right foot, impressing your boss while keeping your work-life balance. 

STEP ONE: What To Do on Your First Day

The first day of work is much like the first day of school, nerve-racking and scary. Here are a few things to make you feel more comfortable and confident. 

1) Make sure you learn about your company dress code beforehand – you really don’t want to stick out on your first day and what you wear can help with your confidence.

2) Bring a notebook! It’s always impressive when bosses can see people taking notes and listening to what they’re saying.

3) Bring an open mind and a can-do attitude.

STEP TWO: Make sure you fully understand what is expected of you

It might sound obvious but you’d be surprised by how many companies don’t actually communicate what is expected of their employees. If you don’t feel expectations have been communicated clearly, it can be difficult to feel grounded and organised. It’s important that you set a meeting with your manager to ensure you clearly understand what is expected of you. This will not only make you feel more at ease, and less likely to overwork or underwork, but it will also impress your manager,  showing you are pro-active about your job.

STEP THREE: Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Many people struggle to ask questions at the beginning of their career, thinking it is a sign of ineptitude. But it’s actually a sign of strength! There is no way that you will understand everything about your job from the beginning. I’m still asking questions even after working in my field for over 40 years! Asking thoughtful questions is very important and will not only advance your own understanding but show your managers you are thinking critically and trying to improve yourself.

STEP FOUR: Establish Your Boundaries

When you respect your boundaries, others will do the same.  

It can be difficult to put your foot down at work. What if others think you are unambitious? It’s not only about how many hours you work but about what discussions you want to get involved in or what you want to spend your time on. The key is to have clear communication.  Another important thing is to set the boundaries at the beginning of a new job, because later it will be difficult. This doesn’t only have to do with the amount of work, it has to do with what is important to you. If you want to work hard, do it consciously.  Understand what is important to you and set boundaries accordingly.  Here are some questions that may help you:

  • How many hours do you want to work?  
  • Under what circumstances do you want to work overtime?  
  • Which people, in addition to the boss, do you accept work from?  
  • How much work is ok in the evening or on the weekends?  
  • What about socialising at work?  
  • Is it an option to date a colleague?  
  • How many social gatherings do you want to be a part of?  
  • Would you drink alcohol at a work-related party?

STEP FIVE: Believe in yourself

Many young people have the tendency to underplay their strengths or lack confidence early in their careers, thinking their inexperience makes them less valuable when it is in fact the opposite! Your lack of experience means that you have FRESH EYES and new ideas – you will be able to see through the status quo and suggest innovative and better ways of doing things. This quality cannot be overlooked and is in fact essential to the longevity of any organisation.

Topic: Cool Confidence, Communication Power