5 Things to Do Before Starting a New Job

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Taking a break from holiday content to post about work! I’m now two weeks into my new job and enjoying it so far–it’s definitely different starting a new role right before the holidays, as the pace is a bit slower, but it’s a great time for me to settle into the role and get acclimated before 2018 kicks off. I was reflecting a bit on the things that helped me going into the job feeling prepared, and I thought I’d share them here…below, you’ll find my tips on what to accomplish before your first day somewhere new!

Unwind (but also cross things off your list!). I had the opportunity to take a week off in between jobs, and I’m so glad I did. It was the perfect mental break and also allowed me to squeeze in a fun trip to NYC and take care of necessary things like doctor’s appointments. While taking time off was definitely a reward, it was also key given that in my new role, I’m not allowed to take any leave for 90 days. Having just taken a little vacation and crossed things like check-ups off my list, the 90 day constraint should be pretty manageable. Of course, you’ll want to examine factors like your finances, health insurance coverage, and the like before deciding to take time off–you don’t want to make things more difficult for yourself!

Reevaluate your wardrobe. I was going from working at a school to working in a much more formal office setting, so I knew that my office wardrobe would have to change. One piece of advice I have is to go into your new role with enough outfits for the first week, but then do any remaining shopping after you’ve gotten a sense of what everyone else is wearing (I used to do this in school/college, too–sometimes seeing what’s popular in your specific environment is helpful before you head out and make your purchases. Trust me–I thought Bean Boots were the strangest things ever until I saw how popular/practical they were where I went to college.). I still need to grab some more pants and skirts, but I’ve added some new blazers into my rotation since starting my job, as those are definitely practical pieces to own for my current role. Black pants and tons of different tops can also go a long way–my closet is bursting with blouses, so I need to focus more on bottoms and grab some work-appropriate dresses. If you have any favorite places to shop for workwear, let me know!

Read up on benefits. Take a look at what your office/company offers in terms of benefits and perks. For example, my new company offers a great gym membership that I will most likely take advantage of starting in 2018 (since I work at a university, the gym is about to be closed for winter break and won’t reopen until early January, so it didn’t make sense joining in December). This means that in the meantime, I’ve been relying on ClassPass for my workouts, so I purchased a large pack (for a great price!) earlier this month. However, it’s helpful to know that soon I’ll be able to head on over to the gym after work and also have a sense of what that will cost per month.

Fill out paperwork. See what paperwork you can fill out and submit before your first day. This is especially easy if you’re already local. I stopped into our HR office a few days early to submit some of my forms which helped expedite the process of me getting an email ID. At my old job, there were several administrative tasks that I needed to complete before I could formally start, such as getting fingerprinted, and it was helpful to tackle these things without feeling rushed.

Loop in with contacts. When leaving my old job, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how many people I already knew had connections to my future place of employment, whether they’d gone to the university, worked there, etc. One woman I knew had served as a consultant in the office where I now work, and she gave me her business card before I left so that we could stay in touch. While emailing with my college alumni coordinator, she told me about another young alum in the area who also has a job at the university where I’m working now, and we’re grabbing coffee next week. You never know who has connections to your future place of employment, so it doesn’t hurt to share your updates. If you’re not having luck, a quick LinkedIn search can also connect you with contacts or friends of friends who may be valuable connections.

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