A checklist to ensure you’ll start your new job on the right note

New job checklist

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re about to embark on your new career adventure.

But for many of us, starting a new job can be pretty overwhelming. There are new systems to learn, new coworkers to get to know - even navigating your way around a new office is a task in itself!

The length of time that it takes a person to adjust to a new job will depend on a number of things, however there are some productive ways to speed this up and to soften the adjustment period.

Here is a handy checklist to get you into the swing of things; however having the right attitude in any area of work is key to starting your new job on the right note…


It is likely that you have researched and gotten to know your new company’s culture and ethics before your first interview took place. Now that you’ve been placed and are nearing your first day at your new job, take as much time as possible to extensively get to know the environment you’ll be working in. The Internet is a resourceful place and many companies provide information on what it is like to work for them on a daily basis. Get to know your job description well, so that you know exactly what is expected of you from day 1.

Keen, willing and able

Like with all new experiences, the willingness to learn, and to do it quickly, is key to fulfilling your probationary period. Try to arrive at work earlier than expected, dress well and be sure to greet and introduce yourself to others in the workplace. Although it is not always easy in a new environment, extra effort and initiative can go a long way and can also be extremely valuable to the learning process. Enthusiasm never goes unnoticed and is also a great way to get noticed within your role.

Rather safe than sorry

There will be times during the adjustment period where you’ll feel unsure of a step or correct procedure to follow. While asking questions can be intimidating, it is better to ask if you are unsure, so that you don’t end up making a mistake that can’t be undone.

Befriend your teammates

Get to know the people you’re working with and identify who is easily approachable. This is key to the learning process, as your line manager might not always be available to answer every question. 

Don’t be afraid of the phone!

There will soon come a time when you’ll be the closest person to a ringing telephone in the office. Albeit nerve-wracking to answer the phone and potentially deal with a client, chances are that everyone around you has had to go through the same thing at some stage. It is considered standard that a phone is answered within three to four rings and that you greet the caller by the name of your company, as well as your own name. Speak clearly and confidently (even if you’re not). If you need to put the caller on hold while you divert him/her to the correct person, always ask, “Would you mind holding while I transfer you?”

Take note

Take note of everything you learn. Write things down or type and save important steps and processes somewhere safe so that you don’t ask the same questions twice. Write down questions that aren’t imperative and save them for the end of the day when colleagues and line managers are more likely to be able to answer comprehensively.

Writer | Caira-Lee Durand