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How to have a positive impact in the first 30 days of a new role

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 28 Jul 2023

Firstly, congratulations on securing your new job. Although you’ve made it past the first hurdle, you may be feeling a bit nervous to start your new job. There can be a lot of thoughts that run through your mind in the run up to starting your new role. Like how your first day will go, what your day-to-day life is going to look like and what your induction period in the new role will look like. 

It’s not uncommon for people to worry about the first few weeks in a new job, there will be a lot to learn and a lot of new faces to take in. It’s a learning process and one of the reasons people can be so worried about new experiences is the fear of making mistakes. However, now is the time to make them and ask as many questions as you may need. You should take this time to learn and enjoy what comes with a new job. It’s exciting to learn more about your new workplace, meet and talk to your new colleagues and see what the next chapter in your career is going to look like. Your new manager offered you the position for a reason and it’s important to not lose sight of how far you’ve come, even though nerves can sometimes make it harder. There are a few tips we would like to share with you to help calm those nerves, so you can make the most of the first 30 days in your new role.

Be Prepared

Make sure you're prepared for whatever may happen. It’s likely that your workplace will provide the essentials like a work laptop, other tech and pens etc. So you won’t have to worry about these unless you have been told otherwise. It’s still important to make a list of things you’ll need, the night before you start the role. Just to make sure you don’t forget. It can be easy to forget simple things, especially when feeling slightly stressed or nervous. 

Make sure you bring everything you think is necessary for your first day at work, it can range depending on the type of job you have. Showing your employer that you are prepared, shows them that you want this job and are ready to go straight away. Nerves can sometimes cause forgetfulness, so it can be good practice to write a list of everything you may need for your first day. Some employers will ask for things like a copy of your degree, a form of ID and references. So, check any emails to make sure you bring everything asked of you. 

Look and dress the part

Your office space may have a dress code. This is often shared with you before you head to the workplace, so if nothing’s been mentioned, don’t worry. Go with a business-casual look and you’ll be able to figure it out from there. 

If you’re really worried about it, ask about it during the interview stage if you think it’s  relevant, or make sure you try to get in contact before your first day. Additionally, if you are in a sector of engineering that requires safety wear, you may want to think about what you will need or question whether the employer will supply it for you or not. Ultimately, dress for the job you have, it won’t go under-appreciated. 

If you’re working from home on your first day, week or permanently, make sure you’re presentable. You don’t have to be sat in a 3-piece suit whilst in your personal office, but make sure you’re dressed appropriately. 

Set your goals

Make it clear to both you and your manager what your goals are. Goals you set yourself now can include both long-term and short-term goals and it will give you something to work towards. Having goals set by yourself or your manager can help with motivation. During the first 30 days of employment, you can often feel lost and may struggle to find things to do, but if you have some goals mapped out, it can bring some extra guidance to each day. Coming into work on your first day with some potential goal ideas will show your manager that you are ready to work, they will appreciate your determination and your ability to come into work prepared for the day.

If you do find yourself unsure on what goals to set, starting a new job can be a great time to re-start your PDP. Ask yourself what you want to get out of this job and talk about this with your manager. It’s likely that you’ll be having catch-ups and 1-2-1’s on a regular basis, so make the most of the time. Ask them how they can help you reach your goals. 

Challenge yourself and take on new opportunities

Make sure your goals are allowing you to reach your full potential. Don’t strive for anything too unrealistic. You’ve just started a new job, so take baby steps and understand your role properly before you give yourself anything too big to achieve. I’m not saying you can’t have big goals, but don’t set yourself up for failure. Take the time you need to talk to new people and get a real feel of the place. 

Setting yourself goals can show your superiors and your team that you are willing to work hard and that you’re open to learning. By constantly challenging yourself you relinquish the possibility of coasting through your career, you keep yourself motivated and interested in your work. If you’re unable to complete your goal the first time, try again. It’s very clear that the first 30 days will be a whirlwind of new information thrown at you, but it’s important to not let this scare you. You may be busy trying to remember every little detail but don’t allow this to push you away from any additional opportunities they may offer you. Where pushing yourself is great, you want to be able to set goals that are of your ability. There will be plenty of time for learning and as time goes by, your goals may increase in difficulty. Starting a new job can be challenging and you want to push yourself, but with all the training and other elements of starting a new job, being too hard on yourself and taking on too much to fast can really affect your workflow.

Get to know your colleagues

Where you are expected to still work hard during the first 30 days, you are also expected to take the time to get to know your colleagues better. You will be spending a lot of time with your co-workers and it’s important to learn about them and introduce yourself appropriately. Getting to know your team will show that you care about their interests, and you will work much better in a team if you get along. There can be times where you may not get along with everyone in your proximity but keeping a professional outlook on the relationships will smooth out problems. You’re all there to do a job after all and it will only strengthen your bond as a team.

It might be a good idea to set 15-20 minutes of time aside and have a chat with everyone in your team. This time is invaluable and can not only help you understand who they are as people, but how they can help you in your role. If you’re showing real interest in them and becoming an integrated part of the team, you can help them in the long run too. Never underestimate the value of time with your colleagues. 

Enjoy and embrace the induction

Your induction can be both stressful and exciting. You will learn so much in the first 30 days of a new job but keeping yourself composed would be ideal. (Although sometimes easier said than done) You will never get this time back and it’s good to enjoy it. Learn about your colleagues, put in the extra work, and appreciate every second of it. Remember, there is a reason you wanted this job, it’s important to keep sight of your ambition and don’t forget the reason you’re here. Some people often get bored in the first month because you may not have much responsibility, but it’s only the beginning of showing them what you can do.

Own any simple mistakes you make, now is the best time to make them after all. Take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and never feel guilty for asking them. Colleagues and management are there to help you and you are there to help them and make a difference. Engineering can sometimes be a challenging industry, technology advances are always happening, so it may seem hard to keep up at times. But stick to these tips and you will hopefully make an everlasting positive impression. Take what you learn everywhere you go and embrace the first 30 days of any new job.