New jobs are a fresh start in many ways. I highly recommend that you use your fresh start to take a hard look at your habits and organization to make small, but impactful improvements. The beginning of a new job is a great time to revisit things from how much you’ll save for retirement to tweaking your morning routine for more success.
In December of 2021, I received a big promotion at my current employer that would take effect the first Monday of January. I wasn’t moving into a new job or location but I still decided this was a “fresh start” and I wanted to make the most of the reset. With two weeks notice to prepare for the transition I set out to make some small but important improvements. I thought I’d share them in hopes that as you begin a new job they may help you as well.
- Benefits. I highly recommend that you thoroughly read through your benefits package. For example, many companies have multiple options for health insurance plans. Don’t just choose the cheapest plan, but choose the right plan for you. Do they have one with an HSA option? If so, how much can you/should you put away for health expenses? Is your dentist in network? Do you need to do some research for new medical professionals or can you choose plans that have yours in network?
- Morning Routine. Assess the way you’re spending your mornings at home and make adjustments. Do you need to get up earlier to make time to spend with the Lord before work? If you’re not already having a quiet time in the morning this is the perfect time to start! Figure out how long you need for a quiet time, a workout, to get ready, gather your things, and make it to work on time (at least 5 minutes early). If you’re going to be making a big timing adjustment I recommend doing it 15-20 minutes at a time. I wouldn’t suggest going from a 9:00 a.m. wakeup to a 5:00 a.m. wakeup in one day. “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait in expectation” – Psalm 5:3
- Financial Checkup. Starting a new job (or a new role) is a great time to have a budget wellness checkup. Are you making your money “work for you?” Are you tithing? Are you saving? Is your spending under or within your means? If you’ve been unemployed or underemployed for a season you may have some ground to make up – I’ve been there. Sit down and figure out how to quickly pay off any debts or pay yourself back if you’ve used savings to cover expenses.
- Spruce Up. I did two things before starting my new role that really took pressure off and made me feel ready – sprucing up my house and my wardrobe. I went through my entire closet, cleaned it out, and made a list of any items I needed to add to make my wardrobe simple, professional, and easy to put together outfits. I also cleaned the house so that my first week in a new job I was coming home to a clean, organized home. This allows you to relax after your first few days when you’ll be trying to take in and learn a lot of new information. Have a plan for meals. If you’re going to pack lunches, stock up on supplies. Make sure you have what you need for breakfast, and even dinners, before you leave, especially if you’re coming home to feed a family. This will cut down on the chaos of starting a new job.
God created you for good works. I’m so excited for many of you to be in new jobs or beginning them soon. We at Crossroads exist to help people find the purpose God has for them and to live it out. So many of you are in that season right now. We rejoice with you and we pray that the Lord will bless you where He places you. Fresh starts are exciting but also challenging, so establishing good habits early on and being organized for your success are crucial.
As we continue our month on how to start a new job strong, we’d love to help you with specific questions as well. Comment below or send us an email if we can answer more specific questions you have.
Becca Christensen is a Crossroads Career Board Member and the editor of this blog since 2020. She recently moved into accounting within the automotive industry. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic football fan, and competitive at any and all board games.