A new job survival guide
Everything you need to know about starting a new job
Starting a new job can be a scary yet exhilarating experience, testing yourself against new challenges is just as much as a motivator as a (hopefully) larger pay packet and not being bored at work. Most firms these days will have a structured induction and probation process in place to help you acclimatise and find your way around, however, there are some small details that don’t always make it into a welcome pack but knowing them could make a world of difference.
It’s an inescapable minefield of all British Offices – The Tea Run. Every office has its own little ways with the tea and any new starter faces a maze of tea politics, manners and taste.
Start simply, whose job is it and when? Should the first one in the office fire up the kettle and have a cup waiting on desks – or do we look after our own? No one will ever be upset at an extra cup of tea, but folk can get protective of “their” mug. A well-meaning newbie can really get off on the wrong foot by giving Big Terry’s favourite cat mug to someone else!
Then there are the logistics; where are the tea bags? Who buys them? What brand do you use? Imagine the carnage of bringing PG Tips to a Yorkshire Tea office – your reputation might never recover so tread carefully.
Spend any time on LinkedIn and you’ll know that when people are at work they go mad and lose the ability to use everyday words.
You might be pretty confident that you can “touch base offline and peel the onion on some low hanging fruit” with the best of them but a new job brings an extra layer of jargon. We’re not just talking general business speak we’re talking a company’s own jargon that’s bound to be full of baffling acronyms and terms that no-one else ever uses.
Many years ago, First Response used a system called CLASS and during a business review of old agreements someone was asked to identify a "CLASS Agreement". Unfortunately, that person was quite new, had never used that system and spent hours looking for a really really good agreement - a whole afternoon wasted the poor soul!
Getting names wrong
On your first day you’re going to meet a lot of new people and all of them will insist on having a name and you will be expected to remember at least some of them. If you have the good fortune to live somewhere with local pet names (we have a lot of “ducks” in our Nottingham office and a lot of “loves” in our Leigh one) then you just might get away with it. If not you may want to start looking at tools or techniques to help you remember - the website below will be useful.
Of course, it works the other way round, what if someone like the CEO gets your name wrong? Do you risk correcting them or are you polite and end up being called “Jeanette” for the rest of your time working there? Even if your name’s Rachel?
Who is actually the boss
Most firms will have a similar hierarchy; however, one of the first things to do in a new role is find out who really is running things. Whether it’s the man who holds stationery to ransom, the CEO or one particular manager, it’s good to know where you stand and who you may need to keep on your side.
There is no magic secret to ensure that your start at a new job is positive but if you can remember people’s names, bring the right teabags and know who has the key to the stationary cupboard you might just make it.