ASPECTS OF THE ONBOARDING
TO PREPARE FOR

A new job is an important milestone of your career. Full of excitement but also with a little nervousness, you will undoubtedly look forward to your first day. After all, a new job involves a lot of change; a new way to work, a new daily routine and a new working environment are only a small part of this change. For a good start, it is essential that you quickly get used to the aspects of a new job.

However, there are a few things that you may not have mentally prepared for yet. You’d better do so, otherwise you might stumble.

1. You are “the newbie“

No doubt you felt settled, comfortable and had all the answers in your last job, now you’re the newbie who is asking all the questions. This is one of the hardest adjustments to be confronted with in a new role. There will be a lot to take in, so try to prioritise your learning, focusing firstly on understanding the business’s strategic priorities, who the most important people for you to build relationships with are, and which tasks will form part of your day-to-day role.

Be sure to take notes and ask plenty of questions during your training and induction sessions, and don’t be afraid to ask the same question more than once. It’s better to clarify something you are unsure of now, as opposed to later down the line when you are expected to know this information already. Remember: You’re new and questions are to be expected. It can help to find a colleague who you feel is knowledgeable and to whom you feel comfortable asking questions.

2. You don't feel a direct connection with your boss

You probably won’t click with your new boss straight away. Yes, in your previous role, you developed a good rapport with your manager and a great working relationship. Over time you came to appreciate their preferred communication style, their expectations and their standards. But now, in your new role, you will need to build this important relationship again from scratch.

Face your new boss without any bias and without comparing him to your old one. After all, it's about a new beginning. Your new boss will definitely be different, so take the time to get to know him.

Secondly, make getting to know your boss and observing their communication style a priority. You can begin to try and build a rapport before your start date by emailing your manager to see if they’d like you to do any prep work before you start, or asking if they would like to meet for coffee. It’s also a good idea to understand from the very beginning what your boss expects of you in your first week, second week, one month and so forth. From here on, be proactive in scheduling catch up meetings to discuss your progress.

Lastly, stay patient. Don’t try and jump start a relationship that hasn’t formed yet, or envy your colleagues who already have a great, longstanding working relationship with your new boss. Patience is a virtue, and in due course, you will find yourself building a good dynamic with your manager if you are proactive and put the effort in.

3. You don't feel completely integrated right away

Just like with your new boss, your new company culture will take some time to get used to. Company culture is basically the personality of a company, and is embedded in a number of environmental factors, such as the way senior leaders interact with the rest of the workforce, the dynamic the employees have with one another plus the overriding work ethic, values and objectives of the business.

When you realise how intricate and different your new workplace culture will be, it’s no wonder that this will take some getting used to, so don’t be surprised if you experience a bit of culture shock. You can brace yourself for this adjustment by researching the company further before you begin your role. Look at their social media accounts, careers website and Glassdoor or kununu profile, as these can often indicate a company’s tone of voice, and build a picture of how staff engage with one another.

On the morning of your first day, get into a positive mind-set, and promise yourself that you will be brave in integrating yourself into this unfamiliar environment. Talk to everyone, remember names, ask questions and observe everything around you. Be patient and remember that every new employee needs some time until truly fitting in with a new organisation.

4. It feels like you can't be yourself

During your first few weeks, you may be tempted to try and change your personality or be something you’re not in order to fit in. Obviously, professionalism is key, but I would advise against this, firstly because you were hired on the basis of your authentic self being a good fit for the company culture, not this pretend self that you think people want to meet, Secondly, being your authentic self will build your trust and credibility with others, allowing you to establish genuine relationships.

It takes all sorts of personalities to make up a company culture, and no doubt you are a great fit in your own unique way. Stay true to yourself and you will feel like part of the team over time.

5. You miss your previous work

Even if you didn’t like your last job that much, at some point during your first few weeks, those rose-tinted glasses will be discarded and you may feel a pang of nostalgia. The old and familiar will suddenly feel so appealing and you might even find yourself wanting to go back.

Just remember that this feeling is normal when starting a new job. However, you must remind yourself that you left your previous job for a reason, and try not to compare the two. This is a fresh start, and over time, your previous role will feel like a distant memory.

It can take several weeks to get used to these changes in your new job. Depending on the complexity and demands of the job, this may take even longer. The solution: Prepare well for these changes, have a positive attitude towards them and remain patient.