They say ‘you never get a second chance to make a good first impression’. Well the good news is you’ve secured the role so you’re off to a good start. Part of the reason the hiring manager chose you is because they felt you have the right skills and were a good fit for the organisation. Take comfort in that and just be yourself.

Be positive

Enthusiasm is infectious, if you’re excited about starting your new role show it! Your appointment to the team will change the dynamic, so make sure it’s for the better by being a beacon of positivity. The stress and anxiety of find a new job or being out of work is a chapter that’s come to a close.

It’s worth noting that there’s no need to be embarrassed about gaps in your employment. Any stigma which did surround redundancy has been blown out of the water by COVID-19 – the pandemic didn’t discriminate. There’s no industry or sector that wasn’t affected.

If you are worried about disclosing your work gap to your new colleagues, rehearse a brief response that you can casually throw back in conversation. Keep it light, keep it positive. Reflect on what you’ve learnt or how grateful you are to have secured your new role. This could be the exact kind of rapport building conversation to help you settle in with your new co-workers.

Get the lay of the land

If you’ve been out of work for a while, you might be tempted to jump in all guns blazing. Take the time to get to know people and get a feel for the organisation first. Being a know-it all the moment your cross the threshold won’t endear you to anyone. Try and shake off the notion you have something to prove. 

If you’ve had to take a less senior position or moved to an entirely new industry, it may require even more of an adjustment period. Your new organisation will undoubtedly benefit from your years of experience and you shouldn’t be afraid to share that with your colleagues. But be on guard against taking charge prematurely. Let your manager do the managing without being overbearing about how you’d have done it.

Be a people person

Immerse yourself in the business and try to learn as many people’s names as possible. This will help you grow your network and identify new mentors/opportunities which would support your professional growth.

Get involved with optional social activities if you can, even if it’s an after work zoom quiz. This will help you bond with your colleagues and show you’re invested in the business. Be on your best behaviour in those first few months and avoid getting sucked into office gossip or politics. Just like school, you’ll only be tarred with the same brush if you fall in with a bad crowd!

Show your dependability

You secured this role because of the time effort you applied to the preliminary application and interview processes. That effort was a reflection of what you’d do if you were successful in securing the role. Make sure you show gratitude to the person who had faith in you by being dependable. 

Turn up ten minutes early to the office, be on time for meetings, and make sure you put in a full working day. Help out wherever possible and nominate yourself for tasks to show you’re responsible and reliable. Being a dedicated employee will often pay dividends long term.

Ready to take the next step? View the next chapter in our #GetHired Skills Toolkit.