Congratulations! You’ve been offered a new job which you’ve accepted, you’ve resigned from your old post, and you’re preparing to start a new job.
It’s time to sit back, relax, watch the entire five series of Breaking Bad on DVD, and do a bit of gardening to please the spouse. Right? Wrong!
Whether you’ve been placed on ‘gardening leave’ or been asked to serve your full notice, you have a short amount of time to make sure that you’re completely ready to make the best possible impression on your new employers, and the best possible start to your new life.
Leaving the past behind
Have you ever noticed how cats take great care to cover their traces? There’s a reason for that, and there’s a reason why you should leave your past employment with good grace. In the words of the song by the legendary Little Feat: The same dudes you misuse on your way up, You might meet up on your way down.
- Observe the terms of your employment contract
- Firmly resist any counter-offers; if you decide to make a change, change! If you’d rather stay put, don’t accept a job offer
- Do everything you can and everything you’re asked, to hand back / hand over information, documents, equipment, keys etc
- You may be required to ask your employer for a reference now or in the future.
Preparing to Start a New Job
- Remain in contact with your new boss. Call him / her every couple of weeks to keep him / her informed as to your whereabouts (if you’re taking a holiday for example), ask for advice about things they’d like you to do, say how much you’re looking forward to starting
- If you’re going to work in sales, ask your new boss if you could shadow a colleague for a day to obtain insights into the company’s methods
- Use the internet and other resources to find out everything you can about your new company, their market, employees (LinkedIn will help you with this). Obtain corporate literature, accounts information if its available (if it’s a limited company you can obtain such information for a small cost from Companies House)
- If you’re going to be employed in a commercial role (sales, marketing, customer support etc) try to find out the other companies in the same field – customers and competitors
- Change your profile on LinkedIn and other social networking sites. Improve your image if you have one on such sites (if you’re working in a commercial role, you should have a picture of yourself on your social networking sites). Pay the money to get a professional picture taken if necessary, but make sure it’s the highest quality possible, and that you look smart, professional and happy (smile!)
Before the start date
- Improve your wardrobe. Get your suits / work clothes cleaned and pressed. Buy a new suit if necessary. Shine your shoes (buy new shoes if necessary). Remember that the first impression you make when you are introduced to your new colleagues will form the basis of your relationship with them, and poor first impressions are difficult to shake off
- Make sure you know how to get to your place of work, and how long it will take. If you’re going to use public transport, obtain timetables and other necessary information. Being late on your first day is totally unacceptable. If need be, get there an hour early and sit in a café and read the newspaper.
Do a bit of gardening to please the spouse!