Starting a new job

There are a few things you can do before you start and during your first month of employment which will help you settle into your new job and make a good first impression.

Before you start

  1. Review your employment contract

    Read over your employment contract to ensure you understand the details of your offer. The National Employment Standards can help you check this is in line with the Australian employment legislation.

  2. Check your start time

    Find out where to go and what time you should start on your first day. 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.

  3. Check the dress code in advance

    You may want to dress more formally in your first week until you get a chance to observe what the norm is. Even if casual attire is worn at your organisation, your personal grooming should always be neat and professional. Prepare your outfit in advance so there are no last minute delays.

  4. Research the organisation

    Research or refresh your knowledge on key information about the organisation, such as their values, mission statement and structure.

Next weeks and months

  1. Build relationships

    Accept invitations for coffee or lunch from your colleagues and your manager. Getting to know your colleagues on a personal level can help you to settle in to your role and the culture of an organisation quickly. Be polite and enthusiastic with everyone you meet. Remember who's who by greeting people by their first name each time you see them.

  2. Establish yourself

    Establish yourself as a reliable, high performer by completing any work you are given on time to a high standard. Ask questions up front such as: “When would you like this done by?”, “What outcomes are you expecting?” or “Who should I go to with any questions?” Knowing what is expected of you will help you get started on the right track. If you don't know how you are performing in your new role, ask for feedback.

  3. Keep learning

    Attend any orientation programs and new starter events. Many organisations will have formal induction activities or training you will need to complete. You may also be required to set formal performance objectives with your manager that detail what is expected of you in your first few months. Take the lead from your manager about where you should spend your time and energy.

  4. Learn from high performers

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

  5. 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.

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?” Talk to your manager about areas you would like to develop to address any knowledge or skills gaps. There will always be new things to learn in any job, no matter how experienced you are.

Dealing with ups and downs

It's normal to experience some highs and lows when starting a new job. The first few weeks can be exciting as you begin to learn new things and meet new people, but once reality sets in and you encounter your first challenge or setback you may start to have second thoughts about the role. 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. 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.