How To Prepare For New Job Orientation

By Elsie Boskamp - Mar. 22, 2021
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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You nailed your job interview, sent the perfect post-interview to a follow-up email, and scored your dream job. Now, the only thing left to worry about is getting through your first-day and surviving orientation. But, don’t worry — you can leave your orientation and new employee nerves behind.

We’ve rounded up everything you need to get you through the employee onboarding and orientation process and help you get settled into your new job.

Starting a new career can be a nerve-racking experience, but how you carry yourself on your first day will have a lasting impact on your professional relationships with your coworkers and managers, and, ultimately, your success in the role.

It’s important to work past your nerves and put your best foot forward during employee training.

First impressions matter, especially during the onboarding processing. Keeping a level head and maintaining a positive can-do attitude during a new job orientation will prove invaluable to your future successes at your new company, especially during those first few weeks of employment.

Not only do job orientations provide an outlet for employers and human resource management to get to know new staff members, but they also serve to teach new hires about the company and career in which they are entering. This training process provides role clarity and typically must be completed before, or on the day of, your first day of work.

All new hires, no matter the industry or career path, are usually required to complete some sort of orientation.

New job orientations are the first step to becoming acclimated to your new career. They’re especially important if you hope to grow in your new job. The skills and company policies you learn here could eventually help you to ace your promotion interview and thrive in your new position.

The Purpose of New Employee Training

Job orientations serve to introduce new employees to their role and workday responsibilities, train them on company policies, and get them acclimated to their new work environment.

During new employee training sessions, supervisors or training coordinators will typically review employee resources and expectations, discuss the company culture, and introduce new employees to important company policies.

This onboarding process serves to welcome newly-hired employees.

In summary, attending a new job orientation will teach you about your work responsibilities and workplace environment and help set you off on the right foot, helping to avoid the likelihood of quitting a job you just started.

What to Expect at New Employee Orientation

Depending on the kind of role you’ve accepted, the industry you’re working in, and the location of your new job, new employee orientation will differ from career to career. In general, new employees can expect an introduction to their new job, workplace, and co-workers.

Depending on the job, the size of the company, and the number of new hires, the orientation may be in a group setting or conducted individually. It can be either formal or more laid back.

Before attending a job orientation it’s always a good idea to ask your new employer about the structure of the mandatory training so you know what you’ll be walking into.

Before your new employee orientation, you will typically receive a welcome letter from your new employer with information on what to expect on your first day and, sometimes, onboarding paperwork. This new employee welcome message will help further prepare you for your first day.

New employee orientation is the most common type of workplace training. Newcomers are usually taken on a tour of their workplace and introduced to co-workers and staff members. Supervisors will typically train new employees on basic procedures, like dress codes, clocking in and clocking out, and where to put your belongings.

Employers will almost always discuss the company’s mission and core values during new employee orientation. For a new hire, this is a great opportunity to get a good grasp on how the company functions and what the work culture is like.

On day one of orientation, new employees may also learn about the company’s benefits enrollment process and have in-depth discussions on their salary, work expectations, required hours, and any perks available to employees.

This is the perfect chance for new hires to ask any questions or address any concerns they may have about their new job.

During orientation, newcomers can expect to fill out various tax documents and new employee paperwork. Don’t be surprised if you’re fingerprinted, or if a background check is performed. These are widely used screening tactics at new job orientations.

The new hire process is designed to bring hired employees up-to-speed with the new position and company which they’re now employed with.

After completing the orientation process, the new team member will likely receive an employer identification card, and might even be matched with a staff mentor to help them transition into their new role.

Upon completing your orientation and required pre-employment training, most employers will send an email announcement welcoming you to the team, which will help to ease the transition for all parties.

How Long Is Orientation and New Hire Training?

The length of orientation for new employees typically ranges from one day to one week but possibly much longer depending on the job and professional industry.

More difficult, highly-technical jobs typically have longer onboarding processes and orientation periods.

For example, becoming a US diplomat or foreign service officer requires accepted applicants to attend a six-week orientation program to familiarize them with the State Department and their new roles and responsibilities.

Your Orientation Checklist

To squash your nerves and be comfortable and confident during your first day of new employee orientation, it’s important to be well prepared.

Bring a notebook and a pen, so you can write down pertinent information and fill out any necessary documents, and a snack and a jacket to keep you relaxed for the duration of the job orientation.

Most importantly, be sure to bring all the necessary paperwork — this can include your ID card, social security card, payroll-tax forms and information, any required certifications, like an OSHA certificate, copies of your college diploma, and copies of your resume.

If your employer requires specific paperwork, they’ll usually let you know in your welcome letter, which you’ll receive before attending orientation, but it’s always a good idea to double-check with a company human resource representative.

How to Prepare for the First Day of Orientation

If you prepare accordingly, your job orientation will be a breeze and you’ll easily set yourself up for success in your new career. Just as you would prepare for a job interview, there are a few important steps you should take to effectively prepare for an employee orientation program.

Here are some of the most efficient ways to prepare for new employee onboarding and training sessions.

  • Do your research and be prepared. Just as you would research and prepare for a job interview, you should also research and prepare for a new job orientation. New employee training is still part of the hiring and onboarding process, so it’s important to put your best self forward.

    Throughout the training process, you’ll likely be interacting with coworkers and supervisors. To prepare for these interactions and intelligently answer the questions they may ask, it may be a good idea to research the 50 most common interview questions to get some insight on how you should answer such questions.

  • Call ahead to confirm. Before heading out the door to go to your new employee job orientation, it’s a good idea to confirm the details with your new supervisor or a company human resources representative.

    Call at least a few days ahead of your scheduled training to confirm the details. This is also a good time to ask about the dress code and anything you’re required to bring along to the orientation.

  • Dress appropriately. This is a big one. Make sure you make a good impression and dress professionally, just as you would for a job interview.

    What, exactly, you should wear depends, of course, on the industry and job, but, as a general rule of thumb, it’s always better to dress more professionally than casually.

    What you wear to your job orientation and during your first few weeks of employment will be the first impression your supervisor, co-workers, and potential clients get of you.

  • Arrive on time. Arriving on time to work is always important, but it’s even more vital on your first day of work. During your new employee orientation, always make sure you arrive on time. Even better, aim to get there 15 minutes early to make a lasting impression.

    Newly hired employees should always arrive on time, or early, throughout the onboarding process. Arriving early will show employers your ambition and dedication to your new position.

  • Put your phone on silent. This one’s a no-brainer. It’s important to turn off any distractions and be fully present during your job orientation and the first days and weeks of your new job.

  • Have a positive attitude. Having a positive attitude will show your ambition and drive. Being positive and upbeat will show your co-workers and supervisors that you have a strong work ethic and are approachable and easy to work with.

  • Ask questions. One of the most important things you can do for yourself during your new job orientation is to ask lots of questions. Whether it’s about your salary, daily responsibilities, a benefits package, or work schedule, you should leave your orientation with a clear grasp on all aspects of your new job.

    Job orientations are designed to teach you about your new role and the company you now work for. Asking questions and clearing up any confusion you may have is an important part of acclimating to your new work environment and smoothly transitioning into your career.

  • Interact with co-workers. Job orientations are your first opportunity to interact with co-workers. Use this to your advantage by making a good first impression on those you work with. This will help foster a smooth transition and good professional relationships.

  • Be open to new things. Sometimes an employee orientation will put you in a situation where you may have to try new things. Whether that’s an ice-breaker with other new hires or an on-the-spot group interview or presentation, it’s important to embrace these experiences and be open to new things.

    Being open to new things during your employee onboarding and orientation will set the tone for your first few months as a new hire. When you’re open to new things you’ll stand out among new hires and make a great impression on your co-workers and supervisor.

  • Just be yourself. Assuming you found a job that fosters and rewards diversity, this shouldn’t be too hard. Employers love to see newcomers being genuine and real in their work environment.

    You were hired for your skills and experiences, and now, during the orientation and onboarding process, it’s your opportunity to let your personality shine.

    Since you’ll likely be at work for eight hours a day, five days a week, it’s important that you feel comfortable in your workplace and be yourself around your co-workers and supervisors. Being yourself will make your orientation and first days of employment much easier.

Final Thoughts

Starting a new job can be stressful, but, with these tips, it doesn’t have to be.

Preparing for a new job orientation will set you up for long-term success in your new role. By making a good first impression, interacting with co-workers, having a positive attitude, and being open to new things, you’ll easily get through the training and employee onboarding procedures and smoothly transition into your new role.

Asking questions and fully taking advantage of the staff orientation will set you off running in your new position.

After completing the employee orientation program, you’ll be up-to-speed on company policies and have a complete and thorough understanding of your job responsibilities, employee benefits, and workplace culture and environment.

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Elsie Boskamp

Elsie is an experienced writer, reporter, and content creator. As a leader in her field, Elsie is best known for her work as a Reporter for The Southampton Press, but she can also be credited with contributions to Long Island Pulse Magazine and Hamptons Online. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Stony Brook University and currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee.

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Topics: Guides, Life At Work