How to prepare for your first day at your new hotel job
Congratulations! You got the job and you want to put your best foot forward by getting prepared before your first day at work. What can you do to be at your best, mentally and literally? Here are some tips and seasoned advice to get you on the right track before the big day.
According to Beverly Silva, Innkeeper at the boutique hotel Bradley Boulder Inn, the first thing she recommends is to get online and research the company you’re going to work for. Find their website and read about the hotel. There is so much valuable information that will give you a head start on your training period. And… your manager will notice that you have invested some personal time to be actively engaged in your job before your first day.
She also recommends taking stock of your wardrobe before you start. If the hotel doesn’t have a uniform, make a mental note when you go for your interview to see how others are dressed. It’s best to dress slightly more professionally than the rest of group.
Finally, Ms. Silva recommends you get a small notebook and pen to carry for the first several weeks to make note of what you learn from various colleagues, including names, passwords, entry codes, etc. It not only helps you to organize your thoughts and keep track of details, but also shows you’re eager to learn. It will pay off as a great resource and you won’t have to ask for the same information over and over.
The Conference Services Manager at The Golden Hotel also recommends bringing a notepad and asking lots of questions and by all means, take lots of notes. She also suggests you plan to bring a water bottle, snacks and a brown bag lunch since you’ll need to re-fuel and hydrate during a busy first day. You can’t rely on the hotel restaurant (if there is one where you work) since it may be quite busy when your lunch break comes up.
Other sources recommend you get two weeks of good sleep… yes, not just one night, but a couple of weeks to really restore yourself and be sharp, clear-eyed and ready to process lots of new information. It also helps to “train” your sleep pattern to your new shift hours to set your internal clock and be at your best.
Of course, it also makes sense to test drive the route to your new job at the time you’ll be going to see how the traffic is, if there are alternate routes and if there is any public transportation you can use as a back-up plan. Being late because of traffic isn’t a good excuse since everyone else has to get to work at the same time you do. And it wouldn’t hurt to be a little early on your first day so you can get settled before your shift begins.
You might want to connect with some of your co-workers ahead of time on LinkedIn. You may feel a bit more at ease if you’ve gotten familiar with some names and faces before your first day.
If you’re a little nervous or shy, practice introducing yourself and making some small talk. You’ll be meeting a lot of new people and it’ll be nice to have something to say other than, “nice to meet you.”
Reach out to a few of your existing contacts in your network and see if they know anything about the hotel you’ll be working for. It’s possible they know someone who is there or worked there before and may be able to share some useful information or make an introduction. Don’t lose touch with your current or former co-workers just because you’re moving on. It pays to preserve and expand your network throughout your career so you can continue to help each other in the future.
You may want to reach out to your new boss and ask what you can read or do ahead of time to be ready on your first day. There may be resources available from the HR Department or specific online sources that he/she would recommend as part of your orientation. Not only will that help you prepare for the position, but it will begin building a relationship with your boss and demonstrate your enthusiasm.
Be sure you know ahead of time what to bring with you on your first day. What paperwork, identification documents, a voided check for direct deposit, etc. do you need to have with you so you won’t create any delays.
Find out what time you need to report to work, where to park and what entrance to use. Also, should you go directly to HR or to your department and who are you to see first? Do you need to get an ID card? If you can, it wouldn’t hurt to get a copy of the employee handbook so you know what’s expected in terms of dress code, lunch breaks, probationary periods, performance reviews etc.
Getting prepared before your first day will eliminate a lot of the stress of starting a new job. Showing up on time, dressed appropriately, informed, rested and ready to go will certainly help you put your best foot forward and make a great impression on your new boss and team.