New Job Preparation

Congratulations! Your hard work has finally paid off! You negotiated your very best offer and have accepted.

Now what?

First of all, get ready for one of the most enjoyable parties you have ever attended—and you are the guest of honor. It doesn't matter if it's two hundred people at Mom's and Dad's or just a celebration night out with a few friends or a loved one. Splurge! Spend a few bucks. Buy a bottle of nice champagne! After all, this is a pivotal event in your life and should be welcomed with a bang! It's finally time to live a little.

First Things First

Make sure you take the time to get all of your pre-employment paperwork in order. If the offer was made to you verbally, make certain you also get a written or PDF offer. The basic information you are looking for is the salary (plus any promised bonuses and/or commissions), start date, and whom to report to and when. Treat it like gold since that letter is an actual contract—but remember, not until you officially accept it. Make sure you put your acceptance in writing and keep a copy for your files.

Ask if there is any employment paperwork you can fill out before you actually report to work. Sometimes this can be done online through an employee portal, although some companies might not give access until your start date. But do what you can in advance. Taking care of your paperwork now will avoid confusion later. Also make sure you know what you will need to bring with you on your start date. You will minimally need a driver's license (which confirms identity) and birth certificate (which confirms citizenship) or a passport (which confirms both identity and citizenship) within a day or two of your start date. If you don't have these documents, make sure you get everything in order now and don't put it off.

P.S. Most banks will acknowledge your offer letter as sufficient for securing a car loan. So if you have been waiting to buy that new car, you now have the necessary document in hand.

The Very Best Question to Ask Before You Start Work

Want to really impress your new employer? Ask if there are any materials that you can read or study before you start work. Not only will it give you a jump start on the work at hand, it will place you very favorably with your future employer. Doing so will likely make it known in advance to everyone in the department, from line management on up to the VP, that this person truly has "the kind of attitude that will go far in our company."

Even if you will be part of a formal training program, just the fact that you requested to go above and beyond will place you in good standing. And if they don't have any work-related materials, you might ask for a recommendation of outside reading (books, articles, blogs, etc.). It will be duly noted that you are a potential superstar in the making.

The Announcement Letter Technique

Remember all the hard work you put in to develop your personal network? Now is an excellent time to show them your gratitude. Send out an announcement letter about your new job to all of your network contacts. Let them know your new address (if you have it), both home and work. Yes, you have now entered the life of dual addresses.

By keeping in touch with your network, you have planted the seeds for future contact. And now that you will also be well connected in the field, be sure to offer your support to anyone in need in the future. Once you have reached your initial goal, do not forget to extend a helping hand to others.

If your new job came directly through a network connection, it would be entirely appropriate to send a small gift, such as a small gift basket of chocolates, nuts and/or fruit, along with a personal note of gratitude.

And, if you still have time for one more letter, we would appreciate hearing your personal success story. You can reach us at:

…type "Success Story" as the subject and tell us all about it. We would love to hear from you!