Surviving your 1st day at work
Sam Wilson, June 4, 2014
You did it! You’ve beaten all the competition and been offered the job – congratulations! You can stop worrying about paying the bills and celebrate your first step on the career ladder. However, the pressure of the first day soon looms and you find yourself worrying about anything and everything. Have no fear – Career Savvy is here to help your first day go as smooth as possible.
There are a multitude of things you can do to relieve the pressure of the first day in a new job:
Do a test run of your journey, preferably at the same time as you will be making it on your first day. This will give you an idea of how much time it will take you to get there, taking into account the rush-hour traffic. Aim to get there at least ten minutes early to allow for any unexpected delays. The last thing you want to be on your first day is late, so make this as unlikely as possible.
Plan what you’re going to wear and lay it all out the night before. You will most likely know what the dress code is already, but if you don’t, it’s always best to be overdressed than underdressed. Unfortunately people judge books by their covers, so try to choose something that represents your personality in some way. Most importantly, make sure you feel comfortable in whatever you’re wearing as this will help to boost your confidence.
Having another read of the company’s website and your job role can help you to feel more prepared for the day ahead. It’s also a good idea to search for advice on business etiquette to avoid any embarrassing situations.
After you’ve arrived…
The important thing to remember is that it’s completely natural to feel nervous and people will expect you to be, so there’s really no reason to panic. The more confident you act, the more confident you will eventually feel.
Show your employer that you don’t have to be watched over and that you’re proactive. Initiative is also useful in terms of meeting your colleagues, so make an effort to introduce yourself. There’s no need to have a particularly long conversation - they are busy after all - but your first week will be the easiest time to introduce yourself.
Make notes on anything from the names of your co-workers to how to work the photocopier. This will save you from asking people the same questions repeatedly and you can refer to them throughout the day. However, if you are unsure about something, ask; you’re not going to be expected to know or remember how to do everything.
What not to do:
1. Complain – you’ve only just got there, it will not give a good impression if you are already moaning about the job. Furthermore you will appear extremely ungrateful.
2. Be unprepared – turning up late, with a hangover and in inappropriate clothing will be a sure-fire way of losing this great opportunity.
3. Be unsociable – if your colleagues ask if you want a coffee or to go to lunch, don’t refuse them. The sooner you start building relationships in the workplace the sooner you will start to settle in.