No matter what your first job is, the first day at work is a nerve-racking experience. The day could start from figuring out what to wear to remembering where your new cubical is, all while trying to learn the ropes & make a good first impression on your new boss and co-workers, your first day at a new job can be absolutely terrifying. But if you are properly prepared you can turn that first day into a positive experience that kicks off a long and successful career.
Want to make sure you start things off on the right foot? We curated some great pieces of advice for not only surviving your first day at a new job, but thriving.
- First impressions count: First opinions are often based on appearance and body language. Wear clothes that are appropriate for the workplace but that you still feel good in. Check what’s expected to be worn and buy a simple work wardrobe that you can easily mix and match.
- Get prepared for the first day: Any background reading that can be done before you start will help you get a grasp of the job. Being familiar with what needs to be done will also help. Jump online and read about the company.
- Be confident: Remember that they liked you enough to give you the job. Confidence is a key quality for career success. Once you feel comfortable in your new role, if you see a way to improve processes or do your job better, suggest it to your manager. They’ll see you as someone dedicated to making the company better.
- Complete the joining formalities: Take along the details of the bank account you want your salary to be paid into and have your tax number.
- Learn the expectations from the role: On your first day, your employer will have a description of your responsibilities — either written or verbal. This is what you should do to be successful at your job.
- Listen as well as talk: Listening lets you learn as much as possible in the first few weeks, and then hit the ground running with the tasks your managers expect you to do.
- Be organized with your time: If you’ve had to manage deadlines for study assignments, it’s very likely that you’re already really good at this. Complete one task at a time, in order of priority.
- Handle the tough jobs first: Knowing how to prioritise your everyday jobs is an important part of being successful.
- Put your cell phone on silent: You need to be 100% present at work, especially on the first day.
- Keep healthy: Keeping fit and healthy at work can be challenging. Start the day right — eat a healthy breakfast that will keep you full until lunchtime, such as a low-fat cereal. Go for a walk at lunchtime — get some fresh air and step away from thinking about work for at least half an hour.
- Get a Mentor: Keep an eye out for a manager you think will make a good mentor. Mentoring has loads of benefits, from having someone you can run your ideas past to a person who helps direct and advance your career. When the time comes to actually ask someone to mentor you, it’s a good idea to explain why you want the person as your mentor and how you would like the person to help you.
The last thing to remember is that while the first day at a new job is very important, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t go flawlessly. Yes, you should prepare and try to do your best, but remember that if you try to accomplish too much, you may get overwhelmed. Know that there’s always tomorrow.
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