Before you read the list, you should know that you are off the hook with regards to what you “should” know both before your first day and on your first day.
It is 100% the responsibility of your new employer to provide you with all the information you need for your first day and onwards. You are off the hook with regards to your responsibility, so with that in mind, here are 8 things you may like to find out before you arrive on your first day.
1 – Get A Rough Idea Of The Dress Code
You are not expected to get it 100% right on your first day. You may turn up with the wrong type of shoes or with the wrong type of shirt, but it pays to do a little research beforehand. Take a look at their company website and look at what the other staff are wearing. Do they have behind-the-scene images on Google+ you can look at?
It is embarrassing turning up in a suit when everybody else is wearing jogging bottoms and a shirt, just like it is embarrassing turning up in cutoff shorts when others are in formal wear.
2 – What Are Their Hair And Jewelry Policies?
Some employers will allow you to turn up to work looking like a Malaysian street artist, and some will not allow anything besides one set of earrings. With reports of air stewards being thrown off of planes because they had a cross on their necklaces, it is probably a good idea to find out what the rules are.
The same idea may apply with certain types of hairstyle. If you didn’t attend the interview with bright green hair, then don’t be surprised if your new employer is a little miffed at your appearance when you turn up with neon green hair on your first day.
3 – What Your Job Entails And What Is Expected Of You?
It sounds a little harsh, but you should have a very good idea of what you are supposed to do in your role and what is expected of you. It sounds harsh because your employer is supposed to train you in these things, but you shouldn’t have taken a job if you are ignorant of what is expected of you and what your job entails.
For example, you wouldn’t turn up for a bakery job thinking that you were going there to clean the windows. Your employer is supposed to teach you the rules and how they do things, but you should have a reasonably good idea of the things you will have to do, even if you are not sure how you will do them.
4 – The Reason The Job Became Open In The First Place
Was the last person fired? Are you part of a new department? Was the last person forced out? Were you headhunted to replace a popular person? Knowing why your new position has become available is very handy to know.
If the previous person left without warning, then your new role may be messy as you try to fix the damage that was done. If the previous employee was a popular person who was fired, then people may resent you for not being as fun or interesting as the last person. Knowing why the position became available is not a sink or swim requirement, but it may help adjust your expectations for when you arrive.
5 – How Will You Be Reviewed And Evaluated?
If you are an experienced worker and you are expected to get up to speed rather quickly, it may be worth finding out how you are going to be reviewed and evaluated. This is especially important if there are targets and goals you have to achieve in a relatively short space of time. If you made promises about your performance during your interview, then it may pay to find out how you will be judged, reviewed and evaluated when you are working.
6 – What Software, Tools And Hardware Will You Be Using?
If you are an experience worker, it may also be worth finding out what types of tools you are going to be able to use. For example, will you be cutting fiberglass with a diamond tipped saw or an electric hand saw. Will you be programming with local hardware or cloud computing services?
Finding out what tools you will be using may help alter your expectations. It may also help you figure out how much training you are going to have to do. If your new boss wants you to work with tools you are familiar with, then the time it takes to train you will probably be significantly lower than if the tools, software or hardware were all new to you.
7 – What Hours Are You Working And How Often Will You Be Working?
If you have to work shifts or strange hours, then you should find out what they are a week in advance of you starting. This is especially true if you have commitments that mean you are not as flexible as you would like to be.
For example, you may have to get home in time to take care of your kids when they get home from school. Your employer should be able to indicate how long you will be working and how many hours you will be working your first week.
8 – How Are You Getting There And How Are You Getting Home?
If you are going to work odd or unusual hours, you may need to give some thought as to how you are going to get home. There may be busses and trains visiting the area quite regularly during the day, but during the evening, night or weekend, the area may be deserted.
Not only should you think about how you are getting there and back, but also how much it will cost you. If you have to take a train and a bus to get there, and you are only working four hours, it may not be worth your while going at all because you will only break even with the money you make.