Starting your new job

Get tips on starting your first role to help you settle into your new job and make a great first impression.

The first few months of a job can be both exciting and challenging—here are a few ways to make the most of your new opportunity.

Before you start

  • Review your employment contract: ensure you understand the details of your offer. The National Employment Standards can help you check that it’s in line with Australian employment legislation.
  • Speak to your supervisor about what is expected of you. Ask about your start time, breaks and any other questions you have prior to starting your role.
  • Look up how to get to your new workplace and plan your trip: would public transport be a better option than driving? Consider doing a trial run to see how long the journey will take.
  • Check the dress code in advance: regardless of whether your workplace is formal or casual, your presentation should always be neat and professional. Prepare your outfit in advance so there are no last minute delays.
  • Research the organisation: refresh your knowledge on key information about the organisation, such as their values, mission statement and structure.

First weeks and months on the job

Build relationships

Getting to know your colleagues on a personal level can help you settle into your role. Be polite and enthusiastic with everyone you meet. Remember who's who by greeting people by their first name each time you see them.

If there isn’t a formal program for connecting new staff, ask who has recently started at the organisation and arrange to have a coffee. New starters are often in the same situation as you and can be a source of support as you settle into your new role.

Establish yourself as reliable and high performing

Complete all your work to a high standard by asking questions up front:

  • When would you like this done by?
  • What outcomes are you expecting?
  • Who should I go to with any questions?

Knowing what’s expected of you will help you get started on the right track. Asking for feedback from your supervisor is a great way to confirm if you are performing well and to identify areas for improvement.

You can also observe what successful people do in their roles. Are there things that you could learn? See if you can spend some time shadowing high performing staff to observe their style or find a mentor.

Keep learning

Attend any orientation programs and new starter events. Many organisations will have formal induction activities or training you’ll need to complete.

You may also need to set formal performance objectives with your manager. Take the lead from your manager about where you should spend your time and energy.

Update your social media

Update your employment information on LinkedIn and start following your new company. Add contacts to LinkedIn as you begin to build relationships and meet new people.

Managing doubts and uncertainty

After the initial excitement of receiving a job offer, it can be quite common for some doubts to creep in: “What if I can’t do the job?” or “Why did they pick me?”.

When this happens don’t confuse feeling out of your comfort zone with being incapable. Allow yourself some time to settle in and develop confidence in your role.

Talk to your manager about skill or knowledge areas you’d like to develop. There will always be new things to learn in any job, no matter how experienced you are.

Learning and absorbing new information can be challenging for anyone, so find ways to motivate yourself and to remind yourself of all the things you've learned so far. Be kind to yourself, expect that you will make mistakes - it will take a while until you feel competent in a new role. Employers will expect you to transition into a role over time, not all at once in your first few weeks.

Learn how to make a great first impression

Get tips on successfully navigating a new workplace: from relationship-building through to developing a good reputation. Try our Starting your new role module on EmployMe.

Learn more