New job, how to survive 

in those early days

It can be a battle of nerves and even fear when you leave behind your old employer to start a new job with a new company.

11 April 2023

After 7.5 years I took the plunge myself, my job in Recruitment is to help people move jobs and I was actually doing it for real - time to be on the other side of the fence with this ‘new job feeling’. I was leaving behind my comfort zone where I knew everyone and could perform my job independently with ease!

Here’s my own experience of starting a new job.

Introduce yourself early on

Try to meet new colleagues or the main team you’ll work with ahead of your start date, everyone is probably stalking each other in LinkedIn by now anyway! You may have met some people during the interview process already, and I set up a video call while serving my notice so I could say ’hello’ to my new team and introduce myself to break the ice early on.

Complete the paperwork and on-boarding tasks

A really important step before you join is completing paperwork, pre-employment checks and any other on-boarding tasks you get sent. I would always say to anyone starting a new role, make this your top priority however busy you are. Often missing on-boarding tasks can delay a start date, laptop request or even system access for day one.

Nerves before your start date

You’re bound to have nerves just before starting a new job, don’t believe people that say they didn’t. I just told myself 24 hours from now I will have completed day one and I found that helped. My other tip would be to have a quiet weekend if you start on a Monday and get an early night. Keep off phones and tablets hours before bedtime and avoid alcohol and caffeine, you really need to sleep well the night before start day.

A notepad and pen

Bring it with you on day one, I found my notepad became my best friend over my first few days and months in my new job. I’m often amazed when I see new starters who never take down any notes, human memory isn’t as good as you may believe. If you note something down it’s always easier to look back in your pad, who’s the person that looks after ‘X’. Also, write down notes on people you meet ’loves cycling‘ or ’going to Barcelona on a city break‘ it all helps build a connection!


Early on it can feel like information-overload, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. You will find people always want to help out a new starter, don’t sit back and suffer in silence because you don’t know how to do something. If you have a good line manager they will factor in that it takes time to get up to speed in those early days.


Most new starters at any company have to do mandatory E-learning, get it out of the way as soon as you can because once you’re up to speed, completing a ‘Health & Safety at Work’ course won’t be your top priority when you have work to deliver.

Meet new people and develop relationships

Chances are you’ll already have meetings in those first couple of weeks booked in to introduce yourself, try to keep up the momentum of meeting new people with a ‘virtual coffee’. The more people you get to know the easier your job becomes, internal networking is really meaningful. Be pro-active in reaching out to people and don’t take it personally if people are busy and don’t make the first introduction.

Health and wellbeing

It is really full-on those early days and it’s your health and wellbeing that can slip, and you may feel really exhausted. Try to get time away from your desk for breaks, it can be easy to get absorbed in new work and you soon realise you have worked seven hours and not stepped away from your desk. The key to success is your own wellbeing so really try to look after yourself and find your happy work-life balance. Don’t book in anything that hectic in your personal life in those early weeks, more than ever you may just want a quiet evening or weekend!

Adjust to new tech

It takes time with new tech and systems but you’ll be a whizz before you know it, so don’t worry if they faze you at the start, it can be useful to look for YouTube hacks and guides on the tools you’ll be using.

Engage in the culture and social events

It can be daunting being a newbie, but I even went to the Christmas Party on my first day! Throw yourself into it, you won’t be new forever.

Nobody likes an Ex

A real great tip I got told is view your old employer as an Ex and be mindful not to talk too much about them. You have to remember you don’t work for them anymore, and your new colleagues won’t be so bothered to hear about them all the time.

The first couple of months are a learning curve but each day does get gradually easier as you find your feet in your new job and thrive!

Clive Smart, Head of Talent Acquistion