By Stav Ziv
The ink is dry on your contract—or, let’s be real, you hit the submit button on that electronic signature, which just isn’t quite as satisfying.
Either way, it’s party time! Go on now, celebrate getting and accepting that offer. Treat yourself to drinks with your friends, dinner out with the family, a private dance party in your pajamas, the best night’s sleep you’ve had in months—whatever makes you happiest.
But don’t let your excitement permanently wipe out any memory of all the steps that come between saying yes to the next opportunity and starting your new job. Those include giving notice at your current job if you’re at one, writing goodbye emails, and planning how to make the most of whatever time off you have in between.
Way before you get to the prepping-for-your-first-day-of-work stage of laying out your outfit, planning your commute, and doing all the night-before things on this checklist, you might want to take a few minutes to send a simple email to your future boss. It’ll ensure you’re prepared and get you started making that great impression as a proactive go-getter before you even walk through the door.
“It’s a chance to reestablish your commitment and excitement and reaffirm that you made the right choice,” says Muse Career Coach Leto Papadopoulos. You’re telling them, “I can’t wait to be there and this is the job I want.”
So what should you actually say? Try something like this.
TEMPLATEThe Email to Send Your New Boss Before You Start
Hi [Boss’s Name],
I’m so excited to be joining [Company] in [Number of Weeks/Days] and can’t wait to start working with you and the team! Is there anything I can read or do ahead of time that would help me hit the ground running?
Have a great rest of the week and see you on the [Date]!
If there’s a skill or program you know will be a major part of the job—and you don’t have much prior experience with it—Papadopoulos says you can mention it specifically in your email and ask your new boss if there’s a website or other resource they’d recommend you review to get acquainted or brush up.
“I appreciate when a new hire takes the initiative to dive into the role,” says Heatherlyn Nelson, Office Operations Manager at The Muse. “It makes me feel like they want to be there and are wanting to invest their personal time to do well in their new role.”
You can tweak the template to sound more like you and to fit with the company’s culture and level of formality. In general, you should use the same excited and friendly tone you did when you accepted the offer, according to Tanaz Mody, Head of People Operations for the audio fitness company Aaptiv, while keeping it professional and avoiding spelling and grammar errors.
“The timing of this email is a big key to really setting the tone,” Mody says. You definitely shouldn’t send this email on Friday afternoon before your Monday start date. She says that would be even worse than not sending an email at all, “setting the stage that you don’t plan in advance.”
And Mody and Papadopoulos agree on the biggest catch: If you send this email and your soon-to-be boss replies with something for you to read or do, make sure you follow through! That means keeping an eye on your inbox, responding if needed, and reading or doing whatever they might suggest. “You’re just going to look like a joke” otherwise, Papadopoulos says.
You don’t have to send a note like this. Papadopoulos explains that it matters more what you do when you actually show up. But why not get an easy head start?
This piece was originally published by The Muse.