Guide to starting a new job now online

27 February 2015 

Starting a new job can be daunting, especially when you’re a first-time worker.

To help make it easier, the Fair Work Ombudsman has created A guide to starting a new job, which aims to prepare young people for the first day at work.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says starting a new job can be an exciting time, but with it comes a range of new responsibilities.

“We also know that it can be nerve-wracking for first-time workers and they can be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their workplace rights,” she says.

“Our new guide provides information and advice that should give first-time employees confidence for the best possible start.”

Available on our Young workers and students page at, the guide is one of many resources available on the Fair Work Ombudsman website to assist young workers.

It covers issues such as:

Your first day

You’ll need to remember a lot of new things on your first day. If you’re not sure, ask questions.

  • Confirm the address of your workplace, who you need to report to, what time you’re expected to start and what hours you’ll work.
  • Be aware of what your main duties are and if a dress code applies.
  • Figure out how you’ll get to work and how long it will take.
  • Ask if there is a kitchen or meals area to prepare or buy food.
  • Complete any required paperwork, including forms about taxation and superannuation.
  • Provide your employer with your bank account details.
  • Find out what policies apply in your new workplace, for example what procedures apply when taking sick leave.

How to get the most out of your job

There are a number of skills that can help you succeed in a new job:

  • Be flexible, positive, trustworthy and a team player.
  • Communicate clearly with your colleagues.
  • Work on your problem solving, planning and organisational skills.
  • Work collaboratively with your team and independently when required.
  • Show initiative and a commitment to learning and developing new skills.

Resolving workplace issues

Issues can arise even in the best workplaces, and you’ll need to figure out how to resolve them when they arise:

  • Don’t put off having a difficult conversation, it’s important to deal with issues before they get worse.
  • Speak with your employer about the issue.
  • Be prepared to take a flexible and practical approach to resolving the issue.

The Fair Work Ombudsman supports compliant, productive and inclusive Australian workplaces by providing practical advice that is easy to access, understand and apply.

Free tools and resources on the website include:

  • an online learning centre that has interactive courses to teach businesses and workers skills and strategies to help them at work
  • fact sheets about the minimum rights and obligations of businesses and workers, including information on the National Employment Standards, record-keeping and pay slips
  • best practice guides to help small to medium-sized businesses with implementing best practice workplace policies and procedures
  • templates that simplify the work in keeping employment records
  • calculators to help:
    • work out modern award pay rates
    • understand annual and personal leave entitlements
    • calculate payment based on hours entered into a shift calculator
    • work out entitlements when ending employment.
  • My Account which allows you to save tailored information such as pay rates and conditions of employment specific to your circumstances. You can log into My Account and view your saved information at any time. You can also submit an inquiry online and read our response to your inquiry.

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Media inquiries:

Nicci de Ryk, Senior Media Adviser
Mobile: 0466 522 004