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What to expect when you start a new job

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Published: 28 April 2021

Person on their first day at a new job

Starting a new job can be exciting, a little scary, but filled with possibilities. Every workplace will have a different way of introducing you to your role, the company and your colleagues.

But in essence, your first days and week are there to help settle you in and teach you what you need to know to do brilliantly.

Here are the five things you can assume will happen in the first few days and weeks.

1) Introductions

Your new manager is likely to take you around the office straight away to introduce you to your new colleagues and help you understand where everything is.

Don’t worry, you’re not going to remember everyone’s names – it's really for them to find out who you are.

If you know you need to speak to someone, try checking the company’s organisational chart.

This is a graph of all the people in the company and their job titles in order of who manages who.

You’ll probably be given this by Human Resources. But if you don’t have access to it yet and you need to speak with someone, simply be apologise and ask their name. Honesty is always appreciated.

2) Meeting your team

Along with finding out who’s who in the company, you’re likely to spend time getting to know your new team.

This will include going through your daily tasks and how you’ll be working with various people.

One tip is to write down any questions that come up during your first day about the work. At the end of the day, have a chat with your line manager.

This will help you answer those questions and show you were paying attention.

3) Fill in forms

Human Resources will likely have lots of documents for you to go through on your first day.

You might need to give them your National Insurance Number or bank details – but they’ll tell you what you need to bring with you in your confirmation email so don’t worry too much about this.

Forms might include things on company policies, pension scheme and possibly trade union membership.

Take the time to go through all these carefully and make sure you understand them. Again, it’s not a bad thing to ask questions.

4) Induction

This is a way of getting you settled into the new company. It usually takes the form of a pre-organised programme run by Human Resources to go through how the organisation functions.

You’ll find out about the company’s policies, how probation works, the appraisal and performance reviews.

Other things covered might include the facilities of the building, or remote access programmes if your new job will be working from home.

5) Health and safety

A legal requirement for any business is to give you a health and safety induction within your initial few weeks.

You’ll find out where the fire exits and first aid kits are, if you need special clothing like high visibility vests or hard hats to do your job, and how to use any specialist equipment.

Make sure you pay attention to these talks; they can be very important in an emergency.

Your new job is filled with opportunities. Make sure you’re starting in a really good place by following the advice above.

You’ll quickly find yourself settling in and rising through the ranks.

The University of Sunderland in London’s Careers and Employability office is here to help you get ready for life after you graduate.

To have a one-to-one chat with them, book a meeting through Compass.

Alternatively, email careers-london@sunderland.ac.uk or visit the website to find out more.

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