Arabella Olomide, UN Volunteer Administrative Assistant with MINUSMA, during a normal day in the office with the Chief Operations and Resource Management department. (UNV, 2018)
Arabella Olomide, UN Volunteer Administrative Assistant with MINUSMA, during a normal day in the office with the Chief Operations and Resource Management department. (UNV, 2018)

Welcome to your first day as a UN Volunteer!

You are officially appointed as a UN Volunteer as of the date you start your service. We are excited for you get started and hope that you will have a positive and rewarding experience. 

Upon arrival, your Host Entity and/or UNV Representative (UNV Programme Assistant or UNDP Focal Person, if present) will provide you a briefing covering, but not limited to, the following topics. 

1. Curated tips on getting started

Want to make sure you start things off on the right foot? Here are some tips not only to get you through your first days and weeks, but to thrive and move onwards and upwards.

  • Start with an open mind and be ready to learn from all. It will set you up in a good way in the long run. (Forbes)
  • “Fake it till you make it” is not the way you want to go. Build yourself by being  proactive, punctual, setting your boundaries. And have fun at work. (HBR)
  • Don’t just prepare physically, but also mentally for the new assignment. (Lifehacker).
  • Be ready to adapt from day one. Life and work on assignment can change with the evolving context (Adobe). 
  • Incorporate activities suggested here on the onboarding portal into your own 30/60/90-day plan to be more successful in your assignment (TheMuse).
2. Get to know your host entity at your duty station

Your orientation and induction by the Host Entity should include:
  • Welcome upon arrival
  • Tour of the office
  • Formal introduction to staff and relevant partners
  • List of "who is who and "who to contact for what"
  • Individual briefings with key programmes, projects and operations staff members
3. Attend mandatory security briefing

It is mandatory for all new UN Volunteers to attend a security briefing session organized by United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS).

Please follow instructions provided by the Host Entity/UNV Representative on when and where to attend the UNDSS security briefing. This briefing should be arranged within the first day(s) of your arrival/entry on duty.

4. Know where and how to seek medical help

The Host Entity / UNV Representative will provide you with information on medical and health information of the country and medical facilities available at the UN Dispensary (if available) and other recognized local hospitals.Make note if your duty station is away from home.

5. Schedule your first briefing with your Supervisor 

Support from your supervisor/manager is crucial throughout your UN Volunteer assignment. An initial briefing should be part of your induction upon entry on duty – you might want to request one within the first week of arrival.

Here are some suggested topics to cover during your discussions:

6. Get access to office equipment and resources

Make sure adequate space and equipment are provided for you to function in your daily duties.

This should include a desk, computer, telephone, and stationery.

7. Get issued an ID card

You should should fill out the UN ID form, have it signed by host entity and submit it to UNDSS locally for an ID card.

8. You may get a Radio (Optional)

Your Host entity may provide you with a radio or satellite phone, if required to carry out your duties.

Make sure you receive training and a relevant user manual.

9. If you are given Business Cards (Optional)

In line with Host Entity policy, you may be provided with business cards as relevant to your Description of Assignment, if required to carry out your duties.

The title on the business card must precede with UNV or should indicate UN Volunteer in bracket (e.g. UNV Logistics Officer).