Starting new hires at the end of the week is becoming more and more popular. As organizations start to move away from the typical Monday start-date, we wanted to know if starting new hires on a Thursday or Friday actually has merit. To find out, we asked five Parker + Lynch colleagues to describe their experience with a non-traditional start date.
Q: Why did you enjoy starting on a Thursday/Friday?
Marisa Schuldinger, Jacksonville: “I started on a Friday and it was hands-down the best first day of work, ever. I walked through the front doors and met with my division director. She was cool as a cucumber and ready for my arrival. We walked through a few housekeeping items, toured the office and I took some time to set up my desk. By the end of the day, I felt like I was ready to take on the world. Funny how one weekday could make such an impact!”
Regina Rousseau, Boston: “Starting a job on a Friday was something I hadn’t considered before because it was never offered. I have to admit, I did have concerns at first, but it turned out to be such a great start! Starting a new job is stressful, but not working a full first week helped alleviate some of that stress. Meeting my colleagues on a more-relaxed Friday allowed me to have a good introduction. And it’s always nicer to meet people when they’re in a good mood! My colleagues took me to lunch, and the conversation organically veered toward our weekend plans. It was great to have that natural way of getting to know each other!
Courtney Bullins, Dallas: “When my new job told me my first day was on a Thursday I was a little turned off, but it was great! My Division Director had 3 days to get her own to-do list underway and to prepare for my arrival. And I felt it. Things were calm, organized and most of all, welcoming!”
Q: What don’t you like about Monday starts?
Cindy Summerfield, Chicago: “Starting a new job can be stressful, and starting a new job on a Monday still has its drawbacks for both parties. Despite all my preparations, I still remember rushing around Sunday evening trying to prepare for the next morning. I arrived on time, albeit slightly frazzled, but my arrival disrupted my manager who was suffering from weekend withdrawal. Furthermore, IT was backlogged with computer issues and my new colleagues felt compelled to spend their precious Monday morning making small talk with the newest addition. The reality is, there is no amount of process improvement that can prevent managers, IT departments, and HR from running around on Monday morning getting caught up from the weekend or planning for the week ahead.”
MS: “In past experiences, the first day, always a Monday, usually felt like I was dropped in a whirlpool. Other than a few pleasantries, my new coworkers were already feeling the grind of the new workweek. Their attention fixated on meticulously working their way through the ever-flowing inbox and planning the attack of their schedules for the week. What about me? I’m new, and I don’t even know where to find the ladies’ room…”
RR: “I remember feeling exhausted after the first week of a new job with a Monday start. Getting to know the firm, the people, the industry, and always being “on” took its toll after five full days. It left an impression that every week would be like that, and weekends would not necessarily be for recharging or spending time with family and friends, but would instead be for resting.”
Q: How do you think starting on a Thursday set you up for success?
CS: “My first day was a Thursday, by design. The moment I walked through the door, it became clear that the company is committed to the success of its employees. My new manager was ready to see me because she had most of the week to prepare for my arrival; my computer and phone worked; and my training flowed seamlessly into my first day. An added perk was two days later I had a weekend to decompress, digest my training and mentally prepare for my first full week. Looking back, starting on a Thursday was a great way to kick-off my new job!”
RR: “Starting on Friday set me up for success by not overwhelming me on the first week. There’s inevitably a lot to learn at a new job, whether it’s an entirely different industry (like for me), or “just” a new firm. Easing into the basics of the job allowed me to use the information as building blocks for the next week, instead of feeling overwhelmed by a large volume of knowledge in the first week, and being unsure of how to apply that knowledge.”
CB: “In those 2 days, I got my paperwork and training completed, computer working, passwords/voicemail set and business cards ordered. I was now ready to work (and for the weekend)! The following Monday I showed up feeling prepared, confident and ready to hit the ground running.”
Q: From a Manager’s perspective, what are some of the benefits of starting your new hires on a Thursday/Friday?
Marisa Simmons, Atlanta: “I recently had a new hire start on a Thursday and it was magical. On Monday, I was able to get through all of the stuff that piled up during the weekend, got things out the door and didn’t have to worry about a new hire staring at me all day. Better yet – I got things crossed off my “new hire checklist” with days to spare! I was even able to plan an office-wide lunch to welcome her, and then no one stressed about being out in the middle of the day on a Monday.
I was able to take some time to prepare my new hire for the following week, all without stressing that I had a million Monday items to get done at my own desk.
She was able to come back from the weekend and hit the ground running. It’s been a little over 2 months and I am confident that her stress-free, mid-week start date set her up to perform better than a Monday start would have.”
Contact Parker + Lynch to learn more about late-week start dates!