First day essentials
By Gemma Raw
Do you remember the feeling of turning up on the first day of school with a brand-new pencil case and some new pens? As a locum social worker, you’ll likely be used to this feeling – after all, starting a new job with a new set of stationery can be a ritual for many.
We’ve previously shared our advice for how to settle into your new team, but have you ever thought about what you should take with you to ensure that your first day goes smoothly? We know that starting a new job can be stressful, so here are some of our top tips to make that first day as easy as possible for you.
Make sure your paperwork is complete
If you’ve applied for your new social work job role through Sanctuary, then you’ll know that all your compliance and right-to-work checks will have been completed ahead of your first day. This means that you can jump right in and get started on the task in hand.
But if you haven’t applied through Sanctuary (and we’re not sure why you wouldn’t!) then your first morning may be spent working with the HR team to ensure that all documentation is finalised. You will need to bring along various forms of paperwork with you including a copy of your passport, your national insurance card, your driving licence, proof of your address and a copy of any right to work in the UK documentation (if applicable). If you’re working in a new permanent role, you’ll also need a copy of your P45 as well.
Have some stationery to hand
Your new employer will likely provide you with your stationery but as we’re all used to extreme budget cuts, it may be worthwhile making sure that you have a pen or two or a small notepad at the bottom of your bag. You may only use it to jot down the team’s tea preferences, but if it gives you a little more confidence than it’s worth it!
On your first day, you may also wish to pack a light lunch to take with you. It’s always difficult to know what catering facilities are available in any new job role, so a few small snacks or a light sandwich could keep those hunger pangs at bay.
Tools to help you connect with children and young people
If you’re working in a children’s social services team, then you’ll have a variety of tricks up your sleeve to help you gain the trust and confidence of children and young people. We’ve previously asked our social work community what tools they use, and the following options were suggested;
Colouring pad and pens
We’re not suggesting that you always have these stashed away in your handbag – after all, it would become the size of a small suitcase! However, if you do have any tools that you rely on to help break the ice with any children or teenagers, then it’s worthwhile making sure that it’s easily accessible as you head to your first client meeting.
Tools to support adult social care
Of course, it’s not just children and young people who benefit from a variety of social work tools. If you’re an experienced adult social worker, you’ll also have your own items that help you work efficiently and effectively. Our community have previously told us that they have used a pack of playing cards, a mug holder and even a sensory ball to help them work with adults. Of course, every person is different and what works for one client may not work for another.
If you regularly use a specific tool, please let us know and we can share your tips in a future article within Social Work News magazine.
If you’re ready for your first day but you still have a few last-minute nerves, please contact your Sanctuary consultant who will be able to offer any final advice or guidance.