The first day of work at a new job is often a mix of excitement, anxiety and perhaps even downright fear. Most people at one time or another have experienced the trepidation that accompanies beginning a new job.
You can alleviate some of that nervous angst by being prepared and maintaining a positive attitude about your first day. How you approach the day will make all the difference in whether or not it is a success.
The first day on a new job is often a mixed bag of emotions. Focusing on the excitement and other good things about starting a new position can help get the day off to a good start.
Start preparation the day before, lay out your clothes, and get a good night's sleep. In the morning give yourself plenty of time to get showered and dressed; leave enough time for breakfast. Before you leave, take a last look in the mirror to check your appearance, then take a deep breath and go knock their socks off. Here are a few more tips on how to get through your first day at work:
Be on Time
Plan enough time to leave your house early so you aren't late due to any unexpected traffic, train delays or poor weather conditions. Getting to work late on your first day would not be a good start, so be sure and leave with plenty of time to spare, it is always better to be early than late. Punctuality matters to most employers.
If your starting time is 9 a.m., don't arrive at 9:10 a.m., 9:30 a.m. or later. This just starts things off on the wrong foot. Punctuality matters.
Your stomach may be full of butterflies, but you don't have to show it. Once you enter your new workplace, try to exhibit the same confidence you had during the interview process. After all, the company did choose you over other applicants for this job because they believed you were the right candidate.
While it is understandable to be a little nervous, most employers even expect a degree of anxiety, you don't want to be a total nervous wreck, even if your stomach is tied up in knots. Focus on your competencies and why you applied for the job and this confidence will help carry you through any panicky moments you might have during the day.
Smile and Be Friendly
A positive attitude and appearance is taking a good foot forward on the path of beginning your new job. Smile to your new bosses, colleagues, customers or any other personal encounters and interactions you have. You'll illuminate an aura of an upbeat attitude and, in most cases, this works well. You don't have to be overzealous but, at the very least, be polite and approachable through your body language.
Smiling and displaying a positive attitude can help your first day go well. Make eye contact and be friendly too.
Strive to Be Attentive
Your first day will likely consist of a lot of introductions, how to's and other directives. It's probable you won't remember everyone's name the first day and will need to ask follow up questions on how to do processes or other transactions. Pay close attention and take notes wherever possible. These will prove to be invaluable to you later on as you’ll need less reminders on when and/or how to get your tasks done.
Learning a new job can be pretty overwhelming. It helps to pay close attention when your boss is giving you and/or explaining how to do your tasks. If being trained by a colleague, listen attentively and ask questions if something is not clear. It also helps to take notes whenever possible.
You especially want to show your new bosses and coworkers that you're paying attention and not appearing to be bored or disinterested. Even if you are overwhelmed, ask questions, the more interest you show in your new job, the better off your day will go.
Observe the Office Politics
In some work environments it is very difficult to avoid office politics and gossip. No good typically comes out of office gossip and it is best to avoid getting involved as much as possible. You especially don't want to jump head first into office politics when you first start a new job. Instead, stand back and observe, you can form your own opinions over the course of time and then get involved where appropriate and/or necessary. Plus you’ll begin to be able to figure out what sticky situations are happening in the workplace, who you can trust and who to avoid.
Gossip is often cited to be one of the most toxic issues present in many workplaces. Try to avoid engaging in it at all costs, especially when you are new to the job and don't really know anyone (and even if you do know some people at the organization, still stay away from the gossip). Getting involved quickly can turn things bad - fast.
Starting a new job can be full of pressure and anxiety, and first impressions are typically lasting ones. In the beginning, be alert, attentive and get started on the right path. Your best bet is to spend the first day meeting everyone and start the processing of learning your job, and work to learn it well. Over the next few weeks and months, try to keep your focus narrowed on these aspects. You can spread out and get involved in other facets of your company as you become more immersed and comfortable in your new position.