Job Search 101: First Days on the Job

Image of sticky note that reads "start new job!"

Getting a job is something to celebrate. After all the hard work you invested into your search, you have come out a success.

But now is not the time to rest on your laurels. Your first days on the job are fast approaching, and you’ll want to ace them. Here are seven tips you can use to make the most of them —

Be ready for day one: As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and while you’ve already met the leadership team in your new respiratory care department and maybe even a few staff members, most of the team has never even seen you before. So make sure you prepare for day one with the same diligence you prepared for your interview: get a good night’s rest, make sure your scrubs (or whatever you will wear on day one) are clean and pressed, plan to arrive a few minutes early, and remember to be courteous to everyone you meet.

Embrace the orientation process: Even if you are a veteran in the field, you are likely to go through some kind of orientation process to ensure you are up to speed on how this department does things. Welcome this instruction with open arms and let the folks responsible for orienting you to the job know that you are eager to learn more about the processes they use to care for patients.

Take time to get to know your new coworkers: You are getting ready to meet many new people, and while that may seem overwhelming, be sure to turn on the charm. Shake their hands, look them in the eye, smile, and let them know you are happy to be on their team. Have a few short comments about yourself ready so you can easily answer the questions they may ask about your background in the profession and where you last worked. But do not speak poorly of your former employer. Keep it positive!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions: If this is your first job, lots and lots of questions will be expected of you, and they will show your superiors that you truly want their help as you navigate your way through your daily assignments. If you’ve been around the profession for a while, you may have fewer questions, but you should still approach each situation with an open mind and speak up if you see anything that you need more clarification on.

Avoid departmental gossip: Every RT department has people who like to talk about their peers, and sometimes not in a good way. So stay out of the fray. Most people in your department — and most certainly your managers — will see this as a positive attitude.

Don’t challenge the way things are done: Veteran therapists often come into a new job with solid ideas about the right and wrong ways to deliver care, but resist the urge to pipe up with recommendations on how you did this or that at your previous place of employment and why it is the better method. There will be time later on down the road, after your team members have gotten to know you better, when you can voice these concerns.

Be a helping hand: Respiratory care departments must function as a team, and team members must be willing to step in to support their fellow team members when needed. Let your new team know you are a person they can count on to take on extra responsibilities if a coworker calls out sick or is drawn into an emergency.

Following these simple tips can help ensure your first days on the job are what you need them to be to emerge with the most important thing you’ll need to build your career at your new facility: the respect and admiration of your peers.

Heading to the New Era

Elevate | Engage | Advocate | Educate