Being well organised at the start of a new job can only make life easier as you progress. Be humble, ready and willing to learn.

Leaving time

Cross your 't's: Before your say "sayonara", make sure you actually have the new role confirmed. Ensure you have your employment contract signed by both parties (not just you), a detailed job description outlining your expectations and a confirmed start date. In today's world a handshake does not a contract make.

Speak personally with your boss: Once you have the new role confirmed, tell your boss in person before you let anyone else at work know. Don't text or email your resignation like a coward; be professional and treat them with the respect they deserve as your current employer.

Resignation letter: Write a pleasant resignation letter thanking your boss and the company for the time you were employed there. Don't go over the top but try to leave a positive impression. Bring this along and hand it over when you are resigning to ensure the message sticks.

Don't burn any bridges: If you have never got on with your boss, don't take the opportunity to tell them what you think of them. Even though you are moving on to a new employer, you may need them as a verbal referee one day.


Don't get slack: Years ago my receptionist and office administrator handed in her notice with the intention of working with another company in the same building. I thought the world of her and sadly accepted her resignation with two weeks' notice. Soon after she started turning up late and leaving early, paid poor attention to the company's administration and displayed an attitude of "I don't care, and there is nothing you can do about it". Sadly, when I think of her now, I don't remember the previously loyal service, I remember only having to answer the calls she was still paid to pick up, and apologising to clients for invoices she had not prepared and checked properly over her last two weeks.

Thank those who helped you: Take the time to thank mentors and colleagues who supported you, and make a mental note to keep in touch with those people who meant the most to you during your employment. Remember many of these people will also make a useful extension to both your professional and personal networks in the future.

A new start

Define success:

Get agreement from your new boss about their expectations of your first quarter's employment. A great question to ask is, "What do you want me to achieve over the next three months?" Get specific if needed on key outcomes and performance indicators to ensure you are meeting or exceeding their requirements. This helps your boss understand you mean business and want to be a real success in your new role. This is especially important with our 90-day employment trial period.

Don't be overconfident: When you join a new business, always be humble about your achievements and be ready and willing to learn. You might notice that there are better ways to do things and systems that can be improved; however you don't want to start pointing out everyone's failings in the first 10 minutes on the job. You will quickly get offside with your new colleagues and find out very quickly that no one is listening to you.

Explore the political 'lay of the land': As much as I hate office politics, if you have more than one person in a company, it will be smouldering away in the subtexts and subliminal cues of conversation. Be wise early on with your initial alliances, as you may find the geeky guy with limited social skills you had no time for is actually the in-house software specialist with the legacy knowledge to help you out (or not) of a major jam!

Look for a mentor to learn the ropes from: In line with the above, keep an eye out for a potential mentor/coach to guide and support you during your induction to the company. The things they can teach you about your new role may well be the difference between success and failure.

Guard your heart: Be careful of talking too much about yourself early on. You may find that you have shared your hopes, dreams and fears with the office gossip who is now cheerfully sharing your innermost secrets with everyone in the office.

Set new routines and habits: It's always easy for things to slide a little over time, so take this new job as the opportunity to set up some new routines and put in place some great new habits. If you are trying to give up smoking, for example, don't take your cigarettes to work and try and live as a non-smoker at the office. Find the easiest and least stressful way to the office and take the time to set up your office systems properly from the outset. Being well organised at the start can only make life easier as you progress in your new role.

Update your social media profiles: Let your Linkedin network know you have changed your employment and are now in your new and exciting role. This simple step could lead to new networking opportunities and help you generate new business for your company.