First impressions are everything in a new role, especially when it comes to the care industry.
If a patient or colleague doesn’t like what they see, you probably won’t enjoy your time with that organisation.
Within the first day, you’re expected to remember names, learn your day-to-day duties and make sure those around you like you. That’s a lot to think about.
The good news is that there are certain ways you can impress on the first few days of your care job.
Here are seven to get you started.
Smile like you mean it
One of the essential traits of working in care is your ability to smile and be kind, so you need to turn any frowns upside down.
If you forget to smile, you won’t look friendly and approachable.
Colleagues and patients will make snap judgements, so smiling can ensure they have nothing but nice things to say about you to their peers.
On your first day, always adopt a proactive attitude by helping colleagues as much as possible.
Granted, you’ll still be learning the ropes, but cleaning or assisting another care worker with their duties without being prompted doesn’t require any previous experience.
Forget about your nerves and get stuck in.
The care industry is fast-paced at times and needs hard-workers.
Being proactive will also benefit your manager too, as they won’t feel like they have someone following them around all day like a bad smell.
If you’re working in a care home or similar premises, don’t make the mistake of needing to buy your lunch.
Coming prepared with a box of your favourite sarnies will allow you to join your colleagues and focus on getting to know them.
There’s nothing worse than having to walk to the shops on your own on your first day.
So, bring something simple to eat and use the time available to find things you have in common.
Don’t reveal all your cards
If you’re an open book and can’t help sharing details about your life, you need to change your tune when you start a new job.
Oversharing information about yourself can make you sound too enthusiastic and annoying.
In unfortunate scenarios, you could disclose information to the work gossips, who could use any information you provide against you.
The best course of action is to stay professional and reserve some deeper stuff for a later date.
Get your feet under the table and figure out who you can trust before opening up.
Put the hours in
You can tell a lot about someone’s attitude by seeing when they leave on their first day.
The care industry is hard work at times and requires professionals to work past their contracted hours.
If you clock watch and leave bang on time, managers and colleagues will notice.
When it reaches the end of the day, stick around and analyse the situation.
In the case that you’ve run out of things to do, be proactive and ask your boss.
If there isn’t anything else to do, they’ll simply send you home.
Bring in something sweet
Another great way to butter up your colleagues is to do exactly that. Sweeten the deal by baking a fresh batch of cakes or cookies.
(Or head to the nearest supermarket bakery if you’re anything like me!)
Not only will it bring a smile to the faces of your colleagues and patients, but it’ll also spark more conversations.
Suddenly, you’ll have loads of people asking you how you made them or thanking you.
Work out the rules
Whether you’re working in an office environment or in a care home, there are always unwritten rules about what you can and can’t do.
This can be anything from checking your phone to where you can eat your lunch. During your first few days, suss out the dos and the don’ts.
If you can successfully do this, you won’t step on any toes and make a bad first impression.
Prepare for your first shift
Feeling half asleep and tired on your first few weeks in a job can result in you accidentally saying or doing the wrong thing.
Before you set foot in the building, there are certain steps you can take to make sure your brain is functioning and you’re firing on all cylinders.
Going for a morning run or hitting the gym before you start can increase energy levels and enhance your mood for the day as it increases oxygen flow to the brain.
Start your day off by reading a book or completing a puzzle. This will make sure your mind is alert.
Eat a wholesome breakfast
As the most important meal of the day, don’t skip it and run the risk of getting hangry. Similarly, avoid heavy meals, as your body will feel sluggish.
At the end of the day, the main thing to remember is to be yourself. Yes, you need to think about what you say and what you do, but you want people to see your genuine side.
It’s just a case of taking these tips on-board and going for it. Starting a new job in the care industry is a big adventure you should be excited about, not nervous.
For more handy tips on starting your care industry career, take a look at some of these handy blogs:
- A Temporary Worker’s Guide to Pensions
- 5 Ways of Dealing With Difficult Patients
- 4 Ways of Handling Long Shift Patterns