Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New job checklist

You've got the job.  You've transitioned smoothly out of your old position. Now what?

The whirlwind of starting a new job can be overwhelming. Time is a-ticking, though, so make sure you do a few things before the new job becomes old hat.

To help you out, here is a new job checklist (also a downloadable PDF). Some of these should be done immediately (like benefits enrollment) while others are just nice to do eventually (like updating your Facebook).

Update these
  • Resume. The best time to add in a new job to your resume is right at the beginning, when the job   description is handy. Though your initial entry may be a near cut-and-paste, it will be much easier to change it as your job evolves than trying to hunt it down later. 
  • Emergency contacts. If you have listed a daytime contact number anywhere (for example, kids' schools or childcare, condo associations, etc.), you'll have to swap out your old job's phone number. I usually put in my cell number for personal reasons, but if you're comfortable with it, you can put your new job number, too.
  • LinkedIn and other professional and/or social media sites. If you have any personal memberships to professional organizations, or just Facebook, don't forget to update those, too. LinkedIn is especially important to keep up to date – it lets your professional network know where you've moved on to.

Do these
  • Reevaluate your retirement plan. Whether you have a plan through your previous employer or a personal account you contribute to (or both!), now is the time to assess your retirement planning and saving. Take into account the benefits, if any, offered at your new job. Things you may consider - rolling over your 401k, increasing or decreasing your annual contributions, or the balance of investments in your portfolio.
  • Revisit your budget. Your new job probably comes with a new salary, so make sure you can meet your budget. Or just look at how much more savings you'll be able to squirrel away – that's always good, too.
  • Update your references. You've probably already thanked your references and let them know the outcome of the search, but it's always good to keep the lines of communication open. Now is also a great time to reach back out to any new references you approached at your most recent position (if they weren't references already).
  • Benefits enrollment. Most employers give about 30 days for initial enrollment in benefits programs, and many will give you a packet of information before you start to begin musing over. Take inventory of what's being offered and find the plans that work best for you.

    Once you're in the office
    • Get set up. Make sure you have (or will be getting) all the things you need for your new job, such as a computer, keyboard, phone, etc. 
    • Meet and greet. Who will you be working with and what will your priorities be? Sometimes your boss will have it all ready for you, but if not, it's a good idea to identify those you'll be working with closely and get to know them and what expectations they may have. 
    • Set a regular schedule. Your new job may have different hours than your old one, and though the difference may be small, it could throw a hitch into your regular routine. Try a few things during your first few weeks on the job and find your rhythm again. If your employer is flexible, it may mean customizing your work schedule to your other obligations.
    • Set goals. You probably know what you'll be doing, but now that you're there it's time to set some tangible goals. This is how you'll be evaluated at your first review. Be realistic but don't be afraid to aim high.
    • Jump on in! The best way to get acclimated to something new is to just jump on in. Your employer has already shown they're confident in your abilities, now shine!

    What do you think are must-dos when you get to your new job?


    1. Great checklist! There's so much to do at a new job, and it can be overwhelming. I always make sure to bring my emergency kit. It's a small plastic bin with Band-aids, aspirin, lint roller, kleenex, safety pins, lip balm, etc.

      1. Yes! I've got that, too (though I do need to restock my band-aids).

    2. This is great! I just started a new job a week ago and was so nervous! I suggest bringing a change of clothes and if you're like me, wear your heels but bring some nice flats just in case! You never know if you'll spill coffee or have to run around the office.

      1. Oh, good point about the clothing! I think figuring out the wardrobe for a new job could almost be another post of its own. I hesitate to recommend a closet overhaul, but there are definitely times where your style has to adjust to fit your job.

      2. Have you published a new job wardrobe post? I'd love to see it!

    3. This is a great checklist. I'm just really happy too that I got to read your post in time, I just found a new job. This will be very exciting.

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