How to Start a New Job the Right Way

You’ve just been hired for a new job, and you’re excited to get started. What should you do next? After you celebrate completing your successful job search, take time to prepare to start your new job so you can make the best first-day impression.

Most likely, your to-do list will quickly grow, filling up with job-related tasks as well as personal errands to tackle now so you won't need to take time off in your first weeks at the new job.

Prior to starting your new role, you'll likely have paperwork to fill out, a commute to plan, and decisions to make on what to wear to work.

Here’s everything you need to know to start a new job the right way:

Negotiate a Start Date

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If you haven’t settled on a start date, you may be able to negotiate a date that is convenient for both you and your employer. The most common start date is two weeks from when you accepted the job offer.

However, it could be sooner or later depending on the employer’s needs. If you’re not available to start right away, here’s how to negotiate a different start date.

Get Ready to Start a New Job

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Review this list of things that you may need to get done before you start work. You may not be able to get them all done if you’re starting right away. However, you can at least get the essential tasks completed, so you don’t have to juggle work and your personal life when you’re starting a new job.

Prepare for Orientation

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A new job orientation can go a long way in helping you get started on the right foot. If your employer offers an orientation program, it may include a tour, training, and an introduction to your new colleagues and company management.

You’ll also have an opportunity to ask questions, and to learn about your role in the company. Here’s information on job orientations, and what is included in these programs.

Strategies for a Successful Start

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Starting a new job can be hard. You’re the new kid on the block, and you don’t know anyone or how the organization works. Even with a good orientation program and a great new boss, there is going to be a learning curve. The first impression you make will be critical for workplace success. Here are tips and strategies for success in your new job.

Complete New Employee Hiring Paperwork

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You may do it online instead of on paper, but there is paperwork that you and your employer will need to complete in order to get you on the payroll. The forms you will need to complete include eligibility to work forms, tax withholding forms, and company-specific paperwork. Set aside some focused time to complete this paperwork. 

Calculate Your Pay

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Would you like to know how much your paycheck will be before you get it? There are online calculators you can use to figure out how much your take-home pay will be after your deductions and to help you decide how much you should have deducted to cover taxes.

Check On New Employee Benefits

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Your employee benefits package includes all the benefits provided by your employer. Employers are required by law (federal and state) to provide some types of benefits; others are provided voluntarily by the company.

If you're not sure what benefits come with your job, ask your manager or Human Resources department for information about what you’re entitled to receive.

What to Wear to Work

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If you're not sure about appropriate workplace attire, check prior to starting the job. It's going to be awkward if you arrive at the office and don't fit in with what everyone else is wearing.

Here's information on business attire and business casual attire, as well as details on what to wear when there is no dress code

Make the Best First Impression

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Take some time to consider the best ways to impress your co-workers and form a good connection with them early on. If you're well prepared you can start the job on a strong positive note, without the new job jitters.

Announce Your New Position

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Your company may announce your arrival, or it may be up to you to make an announcement. Here are letter and email examples you can use to announce your new job to colleagues, clients, and business and personal connections.