Starting a new job

Tradesman taking a break with a cup of coffee

Starting a new job is exciting.

Getting confirmation you have secured a job you applied for is a wonderful feeling - if this is you, congratulations!

When you think about your first day, you naturally might feel a little nervous.

Especially if you're new somewhere or doing something for the first time.

Whether it's your first day in a new job or your first ever job, it can sometimes be hard to know what is expected of you at first.

Your employer should make their expectations clear and you can ask questions if you are unsure of anything.

Some examples of good questions to ask are:

  • When will I have evaluations and informal check ins?
  • How can I share my ideas?
  • What are my main objectives for week one?
  • Who will I be reporting to?
  • What should I consider daily tasks?
  • How do people prefer to communicate in the workplace?
  • What does success look like to you, for someone in this role?
  • What are the expectations for work hours?
  • How often do you want me to give you updates?

You'll most likely have a probationary period.

This is a period of time where you and the employer work together to make sure the role is what you expected and equally that you are the right person for the job.

How long your probationary period is can vary - but it should be specified in your contract, or your employer should let you know.

Here are some useful tips to help you get through:

Before you start your job:

  • Plan how you will get to work - get hold of public transport timetables before your first day or familiarise yourself with parking.
  • If necessary, make suitable care, child care or pet arrangements and so you feel comfortable leaving the house each day.
  • If appropriate, visit your new workplace work place to familiarise yourself with day-to-day work wear so you dress appropriately. It's also acceptable to contact your employer or someone at the business, beforehand to ask.
  • Do your homework. Research the company to gather some background knowledge on your new employer, just you would have done to prepare for your job interview. This can act as a good talking point on your first day.

Your first day:

  • Making a good first impression can work wonders. Dress smartly and appropriately for your new role.
  • Anticipate heavy traffic and plan to arrive early.
  • Introduce yourself to reception or ask for the manager when you arrive.
  • If you are comfortable doing so, offer you hand to shake to all staff that you meet. A smile and a polite verbal greeting when introduced is also a great way to build rapport.
  • Find out who your direct supervisor is and ensure you follow their instructions.
  • Ask questions if you are unsure of anything.
  • Bring a packed lunch.

The first few weeks on the job:

  • Use your initiative. Ask for extra work if you have completed your tasks.
  • Follow instructions from your direct supervisor and ask questions if you are unsure of something.
  • Always arrive to work on time, and communicate with your employer if any issue arise.
  • Make sure your transportation is reliable.
  • Keep a record of your shifts and any social arrangements on your phone calendar or in a diary.
  • Make sure you check your roster and always be aware of any roster changes.
  • As you get to know your colleagues, you'll become more familiar with company culture.
  • Avoid office politics. Don’t get involved in any drama or gossip around the workplace.
  • Maintain regular contact with your Employment Consultant and raise any concerns or issues you may have in your new role. You consultant is here to help you stay in your new job.

General day-to-day job etiquette:

  • Keep your mobile off and only use during your breaks.
  • Take tea breaks at allocated times only, or communicate with your colleagues when you are going on your break. you may have to negotiate.
  • Racial, homophobic, transphobic, ableist slurs and sexual innuendo will not be tolerated in the workplace.
  • If you know you will be late or if you are sick, phone your employer before your starting time.
  • In some workplaces, you may need to provide a medical certificate if you are off sick for more than two days or sick the day following a public holiday. Check with your employer when you call them. If you take medication that may affect your work, advise your employer.
  • Organise external appointments outside of working hours where possible.
  • Social sharing - When chatting and getting to know your colleagues, it's best to only share things about yourself you are comfortable with others knowing. How much you share is up to you!
  • Observe safe work practices and workplace health and safety guidelines.
  • Your Employment Consultant is here to help with any issues that may affect your work contact them for support and guidance where necessary.

Support in your new role

We're is here to help you every step of the way. If you have any concerns contact your Employment Consultant for assistance.

We will also have regular reviews to find out how work is going and to make sure you are working enough hours to be independent of Centrelink benefits and are on a long-term career path.

Tips for starting your new job

  • Arrive early
  • Present yourself neatly
  • Introduce yourself to colleagues and look for common ground
  • Be positive and enthusiastic
  • If you are sick or running late, make sure you contact your direct supervisor
  • If you are unsure of something, ask questions
  • Watch, listen and learn
  • Use your initiative
  • Prepare for any child care emergencies (if necessary)​
  • Address any issues with your Employment Consultant