How to Prepare for a First Day at Work: A Guide for Gig Workers and Managers

BY Jesi Bolandrina
First Day at Work

28 Oct, 2020

How to Prepare for a First Day at Work: A Guide for Gig Workers and Managers

BY Jesi Bolandrina

There are plenty of resources available to show managers and new employees how to best navigate a first day at work. But many of these don’t address the types of first days that occur in the gig economy. When managers and independent workers connect, they could experience hundreds of first days with a constantly changing cast of companies and characters.

We know that managers put a lot of thought and detail into their job posts and descriptions. Similarly, gig workers could spend hours browsing through job opportunities, looking for the right one. When you finally connect, how do you ensure that there is a positive first day experience for both parties?

Follow this guide for a side-by-side walkthrough of a successful first day at work for both a manager and a gig worker. 

After You Hire and Connect

Managers:

Finally finding the right talent to join your team is exciting! Once you decide to hire a gig worker to your team, connect with them immediately. This is your opportunity to provide additional information not covered in your job post, like who they can contact or where they should go when they arrive on site. Make sure you keep an eye out for communications from your hired workers. They may have follow up questions or concerns before the job starts.

Gig Workers:

When you’re hired, take the time to review the job description and location. Ask your manager questions before the shift starts. Make sure you plan your travel and build in time for things like leaving the house late or hitting traffic. The more you prepare yourself ahead of time, the more at-ease you’ll feel when the start date comes.

24 Hours Before the First Day at Work

Managers:

Reach out to your team the day before your job starts to remind them of important information (like the shift start time, important contact information, and where they should check in upon arrival). 

Gig Workers:

Make sure you have all of the information you need to show up to your job site on-time and ready to work. Make sure your uniform or work clothes are clean, put gas in your tank the day before, and get a good night’s rest. This helps you feel fresh and prepared for your next gig!

Arriving On the First Day at Work

Managers:

Make sure you, or another company representative, is ready to greet and welcome gig workers at the specified meeting location. Having someone physically there and waiting helps gig workers feel more comfortable walking into the work day.

Once you’ve gathered your team for the day, treat them like permanent team members no matter how long or short their work period is with you. Introduce yourself and any important company representatives. Encourage the workers to introduce themselves to you and to each other. There is power behind sharing and remembering each other’s names.

Next, make sure you set clear expectations for the day and tasks. Be sure to include any training or onboarding necessary, and give your workers an opportunity to ask questions before they begin their work. It is helpful if you tell workers who they can go to if they need more help throughout their shift. If you take the time to provide necessary resources and tools, your team can be more efficient and effective in their work.

Gig Workers:

Although you planned your travel the night before, make sure you give yourself enough time before your shift to get dressed and get to your job site on time. Aiming to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early helps make sure traffic or a missed turn won’t make you late for your first day. Your goal should be to be checked in, in uniform, and ready to work at your shift start time.

Make sure you follow any check-in instructions when you are ready to work. It’s okay to double check that you are recorded on the appropriate timesheet to ensure you’re going to get credit for the work you complete. Introduce yourself to your manager and any supervisors you may report to. Do your best to remember their names and faces – it can be hard, but it can really impress them and make you stand out from the rest of the team.

Make sure you pay attention when you’re being shown or taught what you need to know to do the job correctly. It’s better to get the job done right the first time, but ask for clarification if you need it.

At the End of the First Day at Work

Managers:

Whether or not your team of workers are returning to work or not, debrief them before they go home. Give constructive feedback to your workers and let them know how they succeeded and where they have room to grow. Showing that you took notice of their work shows them that you valued their time with your company.

Make sure each worker has completed any outstanding check out procedures or paperwork needed. Remind your team of any important follow up messages or payment information they may be wondering about. Save yourself a future headache by making a checklist ahead of time so you know what you need before your team walks out of your doors.

We also encourage you to make note of any gig workers you’d like to invite back for future job opportunities. You can build a reliable team of gig workers and identify great fits to onboard for full time positions. Leaving ratings and reviews for your workers helps you document your experience. This is also a helpful tool for other hiring managers and the gig workers themselves.

Gig Workers:

Keep your professionalism up, even when the day ends; don’t let your smile and energy drop the minute your shift ends. Before you leave, make sure you check out and sign any paperwork or forms the manager might need from you. Keep track of your hours for your own records too.

On your way out, thank your manager and ask them if they had any feedback or recommendations for you. Getting feedback at the end of a shift can really help you understand how managers are perceiving your work. It can also help you strengthen your job skills over time. You can also ask if there are any future job opportunities that you should keep an eye out for. If your first day went well, you could be on your way to having more work with that company!

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