How to Start a New Job: Tips for the First Day, Week, Month


You’ve just landed a great new job. Congrats!

Starting a new job on the right foot prepares you for long-term success. There’s probably a lot on your mind during your first day. You want to set up your workspace and connect with your new boss. You’re navigating a company onboarding process while learning the ins and outs of your new role. 

If you’re wondering about career advice and how to prepare for a new job, you’ve come to the right article. 

We list everything you should know when starting your new role broken down by day, week, and month. Let’s jump in. 

5 tips to prepare for your first day

Many companies grant new hires a 30-day period wherein they prove they’re a good fit for the role. We know first impressions are essential—especially for new positions. You want to make a good impression on your new team as much as they want to make a good impression on you. 

In the days leading up to your first day at a new job, take some time to refresh your knowledge about the company, your new role, and the people you’ll be working with. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind as you prepare:

  1. Familiarize yourself with your new company’s competitors.
  2. Review the LinkedIn profiles of your colleagues.
  3. Get a copy of the employee handbook and read it.
  4. If you’re working remotely, get your workspace set up.
  5. Check in with your new manager to ask preliminary questions about the work environment and dress code.

Starting a new job: 3 tips for the first day

The first day of your new job is equal parts stressful and exciting. You want to impress your new team and manager, all while getting to know your workspace and creating a new routine. Use this list as a guide to help navigate that first day. 

  1. Introduce yourself to your new team

Big or small, take time on your first day in a new workplace to say hello to your new team. You can extend the greetings further by introducing yourself to other teams and colleagues you’ll work with closely. Take note of the best ways to communicate with them. You could even have a few questions in mind for each person. 

Ask them to tour the office, show you where the restrooms are, and how to use the coffee machine. If you’re remote, ask them which Slack channels you need to be in and where you can find documentation relevant to your role. 

In meeting your new team, you’re getting to know them as people and using them as resources while acclimating. You’re learning about your new company culture. What are the values that guide how you work? How does the team support each other during busy stretches of time? By learning the ins and outs of how your company works, you’ll get a good understanding of how you can have the greatest impact. 

  1. Organize your workspace

Whether you’re working remotely or in person, take some time on your first day to organize your workspace. Make sure you have a clear area to work. Build an organization system so that when work gets busy, you can keep up with the load. Add some personal touches to your desk if you’re in an office. Bring a coffee mug from home, add a plant or two, and hang some photos in your workspace. 

When you check in with other people at your company, ask them if they’ve discovered any tools or tricks that have helped them work better. These tips could be productivity tools or organizational hacks that make their work lives easier. Bring any systems or accessories that have helped you work in former roles. Noise-canceling headphones are a great addition to keep at your desk full-time. 

  1. Arrive a little early

Ideally, you’ve touched base with your manager before your first day. You know when you need to arrive and learn what your first day of work will look like. Try to arrive a little early on the first day.

If you’re commuting to an office, you might not know if traffic or other obstacles will get in your way. If you’re working remotely, spend a few extra minutes before your start time to ensure you’ve logged in everywhere and have your workspace set up. 

Showing up early during the first couple of days of your new job can make an excellent first impression and help you transition into your new role. It allows you to orient yourself before diving into the day’s work. 

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Starting a new job: 5 tips for the first week

As you move through your first week, you’ll learn a lot of new information. Make sure you create time to rest at the end of every day and take breaks throughout the day. Aim to get a good night’s sleep throughout the week to help you stay focused and retain new knowledge. 

  1. Get acquainted with the tools you need to do your job well

During your first week on the job, spend some time playing around with the tools your company uses. Even if they’re tools you’ve used in the past, your new company may use them differently than your previous ones. Read up on any documentation or standard operating procedures (SOP) for the tools and resources related to your role. 

  1. Find an onboarding partner or mentor

Some companies will provide you with an onboarding mentor. You meet with this person during the first week of your new role. During this first meeting, you’re probably just getting to know each other and asking any early questions. You’ll likely schedule a regular cadence for check-ins throughout your first three-to-six months. 

If your onboarding partner or mentor isn’t assigned on day one, consider leaning on a team member for support. It can be your manager, but having a mentor is a great chance to spend time with another colleague. This person is a resource to help you understand your role and the company.

  1. Have a one-on-one with your manager

You’ve likely been in close contact with your manager throughout the week. It’s a good idea to schedule a debrief with them toward the end of the week. This meeting is an opportunity for them to check in with you. You can raise questions and set the standard for regular check-ins with your boss.

  1. Ask lots of questions

A new employee or not, you should always ask questions throughout your tenure at a company. During your first week, ask away. If you encounter questions while working independently, make a note of them and ask later. 

Use this as an opportunity to gather context around your company's work strategies, clients, or processes you’ll need to follow. It’s also an excellent chance to find out who the subject matter experts are for various topics. 

  1. Create balance in your work-life routine

You're working to prove yourself during the first few weeks of a new role. You want to show that you’re a great employee. Many companies will put new hires on a 3-month probationary period during which companies determine if they’ve made the right choice for the role. 

Yet, it’s also important to pay attention to your work-life balance during these early weeks. Create realistic work goals for each day, work reasonable hours, and plan a daily routine that incorporates rest.

Starting a new job: 4 tips for the first month

Once you’re a couple of weeks into the new job, you’re probably feeling more acquainted with your company and colleagues. You’ve likely started transitioning into day-to-day tasks and slowly built a new routine. Here are some tips to remember during your first month to set you up for long-term success. 

  1. Be open to taking on new challenges

Trying new things helps you grow your skills. It keeps work exciting and engaging. When you’re open to new challenges and responsibilities, you can rest assured that you’ll always be learning. It also sets you up to get promoted later on. 

Aim to get involved in conversations happening throughout the office. Ask questions and pay attention to what’s happening throughout the industry. Pay attention to trends and how they could influence your work. Doing so will help set you up as a top performer at your company and help you hit your personal goals. 

  1. Set personal goals that align with team or company goals

If you haven’t already, ask your manager or onboarding partner where you can find team and company goals. Pay attention to how these goals align with each other and how they appear in your everyday work. Now, sit down to write out some personal goals. 

These goals can be performance or growth related. Try to have a combination of measurable and more subjective goals. Create a few SMART goals that align with your team’s objectives to ensure you’re always contributing to the bottom line.

  1. Start tracking your accomplishments

Don’t rely on a project management tool to track your accomplishments. Create a spreadsheet or document listing all your accomplishments during the first month. Mark down any milestones for your job and provide details on precisely what you did, how you did it, and the impact of your efforts. 

When it comes time for peer reviews, or you want to push for a promotion, you have a detailed document that has captured all your accomplishments since your first day. 

  1. Regularly seek out feedback

The first month of any new role is full of new experiences. You’re learning to work at the company by watching your peers and asking questions. You should also ask your manager and colleagues for feedback often. Schedule one-on-one meetings with your team and boss to seek out this feedback. 

When you do this from the beginning, you’re creating transparency between you and your colleagues. You’re positioning yourself as someone who is receptive to feedback and wants to grow their skills. 

Start a new job on the right foot with Sunsama

There’s a lot to think about when starting a new job. When you’re focused on learning new skills and retaining fresh information, having a tool to organize your tasks and time can be a game changer. That’s where Sunsama can help. 

Here are a few ways that Sunsama makes it easy to plan a realistic daily routine that supports sustained productivity: 

  • Use the guided daily planner to build a day that keeps you on task without being overwhelming.
  • Set realistic daily goals and review your accomplishments at the end of the week.
  • Use the calendar integration to drag and drop tasks from your to-do list directly into your calendar.
  • Get an alert when you’ve scheduled more than 5 hours of deep work, so you don’t overcommit yourself.  

With the tips we’ve listed here and a system for planning a productive routine, you’ll be set to excel in your new role. 

Ready to set yourself up for success? Give Sunsama a try today. 

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