Starting a new job can be both an exciting and terrifying prospect. The interview went great and you are excited to take on a new challenge, but there are also so many unknowns. You may worry that it may take you longer than expected to learn the job. You have to navigate a new organization and learn the company dynamics. Even simple things like where to go for lunch can be disorientating. But there are ways to cut down this uncertainty and really hit the ground running.

Make sure you have a break

One of the worst things you can do is finish one job on a Friday and start another job on the Monday. You should always take a break to clear your head and put some separation between the old and new. Even if you are staying in the same industry and simply moving to a competitor, the truth is, all of your experiences are going to change.

There is going to be a new route to work, new colleagues, new company culture, new places to grab your morning coffee, a new place to sit. Everything will be the same but different. It is easier to adjust to this with a break, than it is to jump straight into it.

Complete those errands and go shopping

With a little bit of time before your new job, put that time to good use. A new job is a fresh start, and it’s a great reason to put your life in order. Catch up with your financial advisor and make sure you are on track with your financial goals. Have you been meaning to renew that cable or phone contract or change broadband provider? Or maybe something bigger, like remodeling that kitchen? Now is the time.

While you are at it, make sure you go shopping and buy some new clothes. Always remember, dress to impress. You only get one chance at a first impression. Plus, we naturally feel more confident when we are wearing new clothes. If you feel like you look good, you will feel good. That confidence will come across as you go into a new environment.

Research the company and industry

As you near your start date, you should also research as much about your new company and industry as you can. If you are staying in the same industry, this part can be relatively quick. But if you are joining a new industry, its great to get a head start on learning about it. Who are the key players in the industry and your company’s competitors? What are the key challenges facing the industry at this time? What are the thought leaders in the industry saying needs to be done? Subscribe to industry newsletters, so that you are as up to date as possible for your first day.

You should take this same approach to your current company. How has the business performed over the past few years? What is market feedback on the company like? Are there any common themes about the firm identified on websites like Glassdoor? Have they launched new products? Has their CEO spoken about a new strategy and direction? Do you know any old colleagues or have friends who work at the firm?

Meet up with your boss

Finally, you should aim to meet up with your new boss before you officially start. It’s a great way to get ahead of the game. Take your boss out for a coffee or lunch, so that you can understand the current set of challenges before you start. Is there a project deadline looming? Did the company have an awesome or terrible last quarter? What are the short-term priorities that will help you prioritise accordingly?