On Day One

We had a new starter at work today which took me back to all the first days I have had in new jobs. I have always known during that first day whether it was an organisation I could stay in for a long time, or perhaps it wasn’t the right place. There is something about the atmosphere that you get from an office; the colleagues, the feeling, and the general mood.

A first day in a new job really doesn’t give you a chance to get to grips with the work that you will be doing. That has to come slightly later – probably day two. The first impressions that the organisation gives will have a lasting impression. Is there a proper induction procedure? Do you get introduced to the key people? Are you given an understanding of the work and what it will entail? Do you understand your part in the bigger picture?

I remember a few jobs that failed to give me that clarity, support and positive atmosphere. In one that I won’t name, I had the dubious honour of wading through the material left by the previous job holder and trying to weed out what I wanted. In another, I remember trying to understand who was responsible for what job and how I was supposed to work with them.

However, there are those that have made me feel really welcome from day one. People have been friendly and really clear about the expectations and how I fitted in with the team. Above all I remember those times when walking into a new organisation felt like putting on a pair of slippers – it just fitted and felt right.

I am not sure what our new starter may have made of the day that we had and what it highlighted in the atmosphere. A few things come to mind: busy, high-profile, friendly and teamwork. Whatever it was I hope that it felt like a comfortable pair of slippers that will be a place they can grow, develop and above all enjoy.

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