It’s your first day of work and you are starting a new job remotely! Congratulations on making it across the finish line. Securing any job is a challenge. Perhaps it happened for you quickly? Maybe it took time, and you found the process frustrating. Whatever the circumstances you’re here now, and hopefully are raring to go!
Being well prepared for starting a new job remotely can help you build personal confidence, encouraging your natural energy to shine through. A clear, confident head will allow you to make sensible decisions and impress on day one. Remote working can certainly be a challenge, particularly on your first day. But on the plus, side, you won’t have to think about whether to take in a lunchbox or memorise the team tea and coffee orders!
Follow our tips for starting a new job remotely and finish your day smiling 🙂
Be ready to log on
When you are starting a new job remotely, rather than focusing on arriving on time, focus on being ready to log on. This means being confident and familiar with any systems or tools you’ll be expected to use in your new role, such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Slack. You should be able to find online training courses and tutorials for most systems and tools.
Find out the etiquette for virtual meetings. Should you always mute your mic upon entering? Is it alright to keep your video off, or does it depend on the meeting size? Also, have a practice run logging in to familiarise yourself with all the ins and outs if you can. Establish the process for raising technical issues. Having this information straight away will ensure you don’t get stuck without an immediate solution in place.
If you can’t do this, you can still test your device’s video and sound settings and check your calendars for meetings.
Work out your best dress code
If there is nothing in your contract about a dress code, you can get a general idea by noting what your interviewer was wearing. Alternatively, have a look at what people are wearing on the company intranet, social media sites or the external company website.
If you’re still not sure it’s better to dress a bit smarter than you would normally. That way you won’t look like you haven’t tried, and you can adjust up or down, dependent on your preferred style and the cultural norms.
This isn’t about giving up your identity or trying too hard to fit in. It’s just about being professional. We’ve known candidates turn up to meetings sat in bed in their PJs. You might be brilliant at doing your job from that position, but firstly it’s not good for your posture and secondly, it doesn’t create a great first impression.
Get prepared logistically
Get prepared logistically before the real action begins. You won’t need to find out where the bathroom or kitchens is, but you’ll still need to know your agenda for the day and any times when you have official breaks. Ask your line manager what to expect on your first day, so nothing is too much of a surprise.
You might even want to have a little paragraph prepared that summarises who you are, your background, experience, and educational achievements – great if you are asked to introduce yourself unexpectedly. We think of it as your ‘elevator pitch’. It’s a 3-minute impactful summary. It will make you sound more confident if your introduction rolls off your tongue easily!
On your first day have water and snacks at the ready so you don’t have to be away from your desk unnecessarily.
If you have an advance schedule of who you will be meeting on your first day, get access to a people directory or organizational chart so you can get a context of who you are meeting and the position they hold.
Introduce yourself where there’s an opportunity to do so but remember to make a real effort to learn something about the people you meet. There’s nothing nicer than having a new colleague demonstrate curiosity about what’s going on in the business. It will make your colleagues feel that you are interested in being part of the team.
Think about what you want to say and the type of questions you might ask – for example, questions about current challenges, recent successes, how things work and what the priorities are.
If it’s not appropriate, or there’s not enough time for lots of questions, ask for a follow-up later or do a LinkedIn search to find out more about the person you’ve met.
Day one is the perfect time to ask questions. It’s reasonable to expect that you’re unfamiliar with what you’re doing. Relevant questions will also demonstrate your interest. There will also be acronyms or unique codes and language used all around the organisation. Ask someone for a glossary, or start your own. There’s no benefit to acting like you understand what A.W.D.C.T. means when you don’t!
At the same time, if you don’t have a question you could say something like, “I don’t have a question at this time, but I’m sure one will come up later.”
Also, find out if you have been assigned a remote buddy to who you can direct your questions whilst you’re settling in.
Whatever system of note-making you are using, have it at the ready. Keep notes of what people are telling you to avoid asking colleagues to repeat themselves. On your first day, you will be taking in a lot of information that you won’t necessarily remember. If you write it down, you might just avoid asking the same questions several times over – not that anyone should mind your need to do that!
We’d also recommend you record any first-day ideas and thoughts you have about ways or working or ideas for improvement. Review your notes at the end of the day and write up your scribbles so that they are legible. Jot down any unanswered questions and work out a plan of who to direct them to.
Notebook Mentor’s professional development journal ‘The 1st 90 days in my new job’ is a fantastic guide to help you impress in any new job and has plenty of dedicated space for note-taking.
We hope these tips for starting a new job remotely help you feel confident as you get started. Be yourself, be confident, and put your best foot forward. We hope it goes smoothly.
Remember, first day nerves are normal but your new company wants you there and the team are excited for you to start. Now that you are prepared, relax and have a great day!