You’ve waved a fond farewell to your last job (or possibly cleared out your desk with glee), either way, facing the prospect of a brand-new job can be enough to put you off your Choc Mocha that first Monday morning. Here’s how to win at the first week…
Deep breath now. Those first few meetings with your new team needn’t be awkward.
Ask questions and demonstrate all the good qualities that your fellow coders are crossing their fingers you’ll have (like being ready to step up to a challenge, being calm and collected and hitting the ground running).
You should also make a point of memorising the names of your team members (granted, this may take some time – and you may have to eavesdrop on a few conversations for a reminder or two).
Finally, offer to make the tea of coffee (it’s surprising how many lifelong office friendships form over a caffeine hit).
Be ready for a job that doesn’t look entirely like the job description
A developer job – with all its roles and responsibilities – often looks different on paper as it does out on the ground. While managers have one idea as to what, exactly, it is their coding teams do, it is always the programmers themselves that know best (so consider the interviewer’s description an overview, at best).
Get your desk set up and settle in
Photos of the kids? Potted plant? ‘World’s best mum’ mug? All of these things can help you feel that little bit more comfortable in what are brand-new surroundings.
Set expectations (theirs and yours)
On your first day the onboarding process will likely entail a few meetings (probably with your line manager and HR). These meetings are your chance to lay out some expectations – both for you and for your new employer.
Ask about day to day life, your responsibilities, the scope of your role and your future career path. Nail down what it is they want you to achieve during your first few weeks and months. This is also a good time to set yourself some personal goals in your new career.
Learn how to ask for support and opinions
Coders at the very highest levels of the tech world talk, debate and discuss in their everyday roles – it’s all part of the teamwork that pushes projects forward. If you need to ask questions or seek opinions from senior coders – do it, in the process you’ll get to know those around you and more quickly feel comfortable.
Whether this is your first rung on the coder career ladder or your fifteenth, the life of the developer is all about encountering problems that take research and more than a fair share of skilled Googling.
So it’s perfectly OK to say “I don’t know”.
Just be sure to remember all that you learn from every IDK moment (or create a ring binder to store away notes on every situation and their solutions).
Move forward with a mentor
Companies with healthy cultures are realistic about their developers not knowing everything. These are the same places that usually team you up with a mentor for your first few fledgling weeks.
If you didn’t ask about whether you’d have a mentor at your interview, do it during the onboarding process.
Both parties win here – the new developer who gains more knowledge and progresses more quickly, and the mentor who gains a warm fuzzy feeling that their pet programmer project is flourishing in their new role.
You’re now all set for a super smooth first week in your new job. Now, just to find that dream developer position. Search our roles today, and if you want to discuss anything, get in touch with our team - email hello@