The first day: a guide for experienced professionals

Starting a new job is an exciting time. Amidst the exhilaration of your first day, you’ll want to be sure that you leave a good first impression as an experienced professional. To do this you’ll need to be well organised and prepared to ask the right questions.

Preparing for the first day is important. Do some research on the company and start your new role with a rough plan of action to build a platform from which you can excel from. As an experienced professional, you will be expected to bring in new ideas and a fresh perspective. To ensure that you make a positive impression when you start your new role, we’ve put together a checklist for planning that all important first day.

Step 1: Prepare a good personal introduction

You’ll no doubt meet a wide array of people on your first day, and you’ll probably forget a majority of their names. Apart from your recruiting manager, the rest of the team won’t necessarily know much about you, so prepare a brief overview of your background and skills, and if they don’t already know, what you’ve been brought in to do. As an experienced hire, you might be expected to highlight the key responsibilities of your previous role when speaking to senior management. List your achievements, including the projects you helped deliver and the savings/profits you made. Be confident when explaining your role and the experience you have to offer.

Step 2: Revisit what the company does and the market it operates in

Visit the company website and gather as much information as possible about what it does and the market it operates in. Try to identify future wins or potential future conflicts. Who are the competitors and are they doing anything different?

Step 3: Prepare for your first meeting with your manager

Have your questions prepared. You know what you’re expected to do, so now is the time to drill down into the specifics of any task or responsibilities you don’t fully understand. Find out what your manager’s short and long-term expectations are and what support you need to achieve them. Gain as much insight into the working dynamics of the team as you can so you know who to contact when and how you should go about building working relationships with key contacts in the business.

Step 4: Plan questions to ask your colleagues

You’ll have a lot of questions on your first day, so be proactive and organised when obtaining answers to them. What are your responsibilities, what's working well, what are some of the challenges, and what key projects are taking place? Separate them into categories and make sure you speak to the relevant people to get the answers you need.

Step 5: Get organised and confirm key aspects with your employer

Make sure that you have everything in place so that you can make the best possible start. Confirm the basics such as where and who you need to report to on the first day, ensure you have completed any required paperwork and have any necessary documentation with you. 

For more career tips, browse all of our advice here or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to discuss your career options.

Use our checklist to plan for your first day

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