Preparing for a new job

Friday February 8 2019

Carefully read your contract

Carefully read your contract before you take on a job. Photo by David Stanley Mukooza 

By Desire Mbabaali

Regardless of how much experience you may have, starting a new job always comes with mixed feelings, excitement, and often, anxiety, but all these and more are normal feelings to have.

“But apart from the feelings, it is always wise to take an extra step to prepare yourself for the new job because it is one thing to pass the interviews and get the job, and a different one altogether to fit into your new job role and work environment,” Evelyne Kyomugisha, a human resource consultant, says. She shares tips on how one can prepare for a new job.

Background research on company culture
“Things like the values they uphold, their mission, the general working environment, and their expectations of you, among other things. There are work places that have strict dress code, uniforms and some unwritten rules, so pay attention to knowing these so that you don’t feel out of place on your first days on the new job,” Kyomugisha advises.

Such information can be got from the human resource department, from a person you know who works in the same organisation, or from the company online platforms.

Know your roles
“Most importantly, as you prepare for a new job, get to know the details of your roles and responsibilities before you take on the job. Read contracts to know the terms and conditions of the job. Knowing this will help you know what to do when you finally start work, who you report to and what your day to day work in the new role and organisation is. It also helps you to settle in sooner than later as you know what is expected of you,” Kyomugisha says.

Learn vital skills
Edward Mulangira, a human resource manager at Pearl of Africa Restaurant, notes that one must think about skills and competences that will help you execute responsibilities in the new position.
“You and I know that to some extent, the papers will get you the job, but the skills will keep you on the job.

Clearly know what skills your position calls for and if possible, acquire or refresh yourself in them, to give yourself an edge in the new organisation. This can be done through taking short online courses, reading about them, practicing them, attending training in those skills and competences, among other things,” he says.

Confidence
Furthermore, do not forget your confidence as you start your new job.
“When I say confidence, it is not just about holding your head high, but about having ample knowledge of the company/ organisation, some of the people in its top leadership, its various brands if any and any such useful information. That means you will have to put in some work in reading materials, contracts and emails from the company, plus profiles to enrich your understanding,” says Mulangira.

For many companies and organisations, introducing a new person joining their team to the rest of the people in the organisation is a no brainer, so be ready for the many introductions.

“I still remember my first day at my current workplace, regardless of the many years that have gone by. It was my worst day – because I was moved from one office to another for hours, the HR introducing me to everyone we met. At first, it wasn’t an issue until I had to go to all departments introducing myself, some employees making fun of my name, or simply being too nice by being too funny,” Joan Namagga, an accountant and bursar at St Mark’s College Ndejje shares her experience adding: “That would have been fine, if I had known it before, but it caught me off guard. So, be ready for the many introductions, especially if you are one who is threatened by new faces,” she advises.

First impression
The first day is also a day to make statements about you, since first impressions matter.
“Look your best, but don’t go overboard in the way you dress, wear makeup or do your haircut – just be smart. Additionally, your attitude, especially towards the new people you meet and how you make it easy for them to relate with you is important.

Socialise
Have a positive attitude towards others and be open to knowing them better. For example, don’t sit on your lunch desk alone. Share a table with new colleagues and get to understand how the new place works.

Keep time
It is also important to keep time, for your new job, but especially for the first days. In case you are uncertain about the location of your work place, know it before the day you start work, or start your journey early enough to allow sometime to be at work in time,” say Kyomugisha
A job often brings new beginnings, so as you plan to start your new job, always aim at doing things better.

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