How to transition into a new job


Starting a new job might initially be overwhelming and stressful.

A new job means having to find your footing with new tasks and people. It also means having less time to do things of a personal nature. Getting the balance right means breaking old routines and making new ones.

Tips and hints on creating a new routine when starting a new job

1. Plan your work and personal time

Planning ahead can help you focus on work tasks while you're 'on the clock' and help you enjoy your life outside of work.

  • Set aside some time each week to look over your work schedule and plan your personal and household activities. This can include planning time to see family, go out with friends, attend appointments, do grocery shopping or pay bills.
  • By planning ahead you can work out when you will be free to get things done outside work time. It also means that if you do need to take time off from work you can let your employer know in advance.

2. Understand what your employer expects of you

Understanding what your boss expects of you at work can help you form new habits.

  • For example, are you allowed access to your phone during working hours? Are break times set or flexible? Do they approve of your friends or family regularly visiting the premises?
  • If you're not sure what is acceptable, ask a work colleague or your supervisor.

For more information on what employers look for in their workers on the job and understanding workplace culture, check out our resources below:

3. Expect your social life to change

It can take some time to adjust to having less time up your sleeve to do things with your friends or for yourself.

  • Once you are working, you will need to schedule social events outside your working hours. You can't expect to be able to meet up with friends whenever you want, this includes while you are at work.
  • The trick is to balance socialising with your work commitments. This does mean you might miss the occasional social event, including having to say no to late nights if you have an early shift the next day. But on the plus side, with more money in your pocket, you'll have more options when you do have free time.

4. When and how to ask for time off from work

We know that it can be nerve wracking to approach your manager and ask for a few days off, especially if you’re relatively new in the job. Here are three tips to help you navigate this tricky situation:

  1. Ask for time off in advance. Unless it’s an absolute emergency (which can happen!) make sure you ask well in advance. This gives you time to plan what to say and gives your boss the peace of mind to work around you being away.
  2. Have some flexibility. Be prepared to do some negotiating and be open to compromising a little. For example, there may already be other people on leave on the days you’ve asked off, so maybe agreeing to put off your leave for a later date means you can tack it on to the start of a public holiday - which means longer time off! Or, depending on your job or what you are planning to do on your time off, maybe you’re ok with coming in for a few hours for one day to cover a busy period.
  3. Gain trust from your employer. In order to gain the trust of your manager and the people you work with, you have to build rapport at work. Work hard and show them that you are reliable and willing to work as part of a team. This could mean filling in for someone while they are on leave, or putting your hand up to do extra hours when it’s really busy. Having a good relationship with those you work with can help when you're asking for time off.

For tips on approaching difficult conversations at work, check out our article Difficult discussions at work.

For information on paid leave (Annual leave) visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

More resources to help you