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How To Celebrate A New Job (On A Budget)

You tirelessly sent out resumes, did your research before the phone interview, researched other employees, meticulously prepared for the on-site interview, and it all paid off! Congrats on getting hired; landing a new job is a huge accomplishment that shouldn’t go without celebration.

However, given you may have been out of work for some time, and—depending on the nature of the role—you may or may not be taking a pay cut, it’s important that you’re thoughtful in exactly how you celebrate your new workplace.

To help ensure you don’t break the bank while you transition into employment, we’ve compiled a list of 9 ways to celebrate on a budget.

How To Celebrate A New Job

  • Take your new colleagues out for a drink

Now, I should up front that generally going out for drinks is not a cost effective way to celebrate. However, you’re in a unique position to build bonds with these new colleagues. If you’re able to quickly build bonds, these relationships are likely to pay meaningful dividends over the next 12 or more months.

Perhaps more importantly, a funny thing tends to happen when the new hire offers to buy drinks for others: typically they won’t accept, and often they’ll instead buy your drink. This is a pretty common approach amongst teams, though it certainly varies based on a company’s culture.

If you’re working in a very-formal workplace, for example universities or the military-adjacent companies like palantir, offering to take people out for drinks might not bode well. Instead here, consider offering to take your team out for a bite. In more laid-back office environments, such as at start-ups, this is a brilliant way to build social capital at a low-cost.

One additional consideration here is that if your company has a strong remote, or work from home culture, like shopify it might seem out of touch to suggest an in-person event, so ask casually to see if it’s something the company does!!

  • Buy yourself some new work clothing

Odds are, you might have had to do this anyways. It’s always a good idea to size up the office when visiting for an on-site interview. However, if you didn’t get a sense of what the average-workplace sheik is, you have a few options:

  • Look for photos online. Often Instagram and Wikipedia will have some to choose from.
  • Reach out to a potential colleague. This is another opportunity to build a relationship before your work has even started.
  • Ask your boss, or the hiring manager.

From here, pick out a few pieces that are just-a-tad beyond what you would’ve purchased for yourself if this wasn’t your gift to yourself. This way you end up looking great, and your net-new expenditures have hardly grown.

  • Enroll in a new class

Do you need to learn any new skills to really excel at your role? It’s generally in your best interest to try and spin up ultra-fast by doing as-much learning as possible early on.

Investing in professional development courses is not only both personally and professionally rewarding, it might end up being that down-the-line you can claim the expense as a component of your benefits and/or learning budget. Many smaller companies, such as taskrabbit, will cover this sort of thing.

While it might seem a tad gauche to ask your boss up-front what benefits are available in this realm, it’s also an opportunity to communicate just how deeply-eager to learn you are, which is a net positive.

  • Pay down your debt

While this might not seem sexy, the peace-of-mind that comes with a reduction in any outstanding debt you have is absolutely worth being considered a gift. Whether you’ve still got student loans kicking around or you have mortgage payments to make, there’s no doubt that knocking these bills down will ultimately feel great.

If you’re one of the lucky ones without any debt, consider making a larger-than-normal contribution to your savings. One tip to make this more fun than it would be otherwise is to explicitly visualize what future-purchase this savings will allow you to make. Is it equivalent to the roof of the next car you buy? Does it cover the garden in your dream home? This sort of visualization of future-selves has been shown to foster saving behaviours.

  • Go for a hike, or a picnic

The outdoors are the ultimate low-cost source of entertainment and well-being. Pending the weather, spending a day trekking out into the woods, or part-way up a nearby mountain, is a great way to celebrate without spending a dime. If you’re considering this approach, definitely choose a trail that you already have sufficient gear for. It would defeat the purpose of this low-budget treat if you’re forced to buy a new pair of hiking boots to participate.

If you’re quite far from the nearest hiking path, consider venturing out into a nearby park. While less of a work-out, a picnic is a great way to bring a group of friends together for little more than the cost of your groceries.

  • Purchase some new books

As someone who grew up next to a public library, I never realized just how expensive books are to purchase—but the last time I went to the bookstore, The Book People I ended up spending hundreds of dollars!

If you have some authors you’ve been meaning to catch up on, or ideas you’re keen to explore, this is a great moment to indulge yourself! Similar to the courses you might be considering, many companies will partially-sponsor book purchases, which makes this normally-costly investment much more palatable.

  • Buy yourself flowers

Flowers are a timeless, inexpensive classic. Done right, they’re a simple, uplifting reminder of life’s beauty. For a long time flowers were seen as a symbol of affection, but in the past decade society has come to appreciate and understand that broad range of settings where flowers are relevant. One of these is during celebration! To that end, why not celebrate with a beautiful snippet from mother nature? My personal favourite is the lotus, You can buy flowers from Interflora and FlowerStation.

  • Enjoy yourself!

Whichever approach you take, be sure to take some time to reflect and reset before jumping in to your new gig! You’ve got an exciting path ahead of you, and you definitely deserve to treat yourself (within reason) for making progress along your professional trajectory.

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