While it is exciting to get a new job, it is also stressful. You don’t know anyone there and you don’t know how the place operates. You have plenty to learn and there is so much going on around you. The desire to make a great impression and learn quickly is there, but you have questions and maybe even some concerns.
Take a deep breath and give yourself a break! You aren’t going to learn everything on your first day! Smile and make eye contact with the people you meet on your first day. There is a good chance you will see them often during your role at the company. Pay attention to your surroundings to watch for any potential safety concerns. Do your best to relax and take it all in. You want to have great memories of the first day at this new job!
Show up Early
Try to get plenty of sleep the night before you begin a new job. While you may be excited and ready to get things rolling, be patient. Get up early so you have plenty of time to eat something and get to work. Be ready for any unexpected variables including traffic jams or struggling to find a parking place. You don’t want to show up late and anxious on your first day due to not having enough time for everything to fall into place!
Orientation and Safety
While you may wish to dive in and lend a hand on that first day, don’t do so. This is a time for orientation and safety training. In 2007 a young man trying to help with a renovation project accidentally started the home on fire! His first day definitely didn’t go as planned. When he saw that some soldering needed done, he jumped into action. Yet he wasn’t fully trained on how to use the equipment or safety precautions. It was a very hard lesson to learn!
Don’t Expect Perfection
Your first day at work isn’t going to go as planned! You may have it all played out in your mind, but be ready for some problems to arise. You may struggle to log in to your computer with the password information you were given. You may get some food on your shirt at lunchtime! Be patient and work to find solutions when something doesn’t go your way. How you handle it may be observed by those showing you the ropes.
Some employers offer in-depth training and a mentor to show you how everything works. Others give you a fast orientation and then they need you to get the ball rolling. They don’t have the time, resources, or enough employees to go slow with anything. This may leave you feeling overwhelmed on your first day. You get an overview but not the nuts and bolts of how to make it all work properly.
A supervisor may have seemed friendly during your interview, but now that you are working with them, they don’t do anything but frown. This can make you hesitate to ask too many questions on your first day. Maybe you were promised what you thought was a great package and wage when you agreed to the job. You didn’t get all the details and now that you sit down with Human Resources you realize you should have paid more attention to those details.
Take it all in stride, and speak up where you think you need to. Otherwise, you may regret not doing so later on. Never take part in any actions on that first day that could put you or someone else at risk. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and there is no way to take them back. Being aware of your surroundings even though you are trying to pay attention to other things is important. Safety can’t take a backseat, not on the first day of a job or even the last!
Remain Calm and Collected
A professional mannerism and positive attitude go a long way when you are the new person. Others won’t have a desire to work with you if you are bossy, you get upset easily, or you make negative comments. Thank people for helping you so they are encouraged to do so while you learn your new job. They aren’t going to put in that extra effort if you don’t seem to appreciate it. You may face some adversity that first day on the job, but remaining calm and collected through it shows your employer they made a great choice when they hired you!
Be flexible where you can and look for solutions. This new work environment isn’t one you are familiar with yet. Make some mental notes of things you wish to address once you have time to fully investigate the flow of them with the organisation. There may be ideas you can offer based on your education or previous work experience. You may offer a better way to accomplish certain tasks.
Know your Role
Most new jobs require you to complete a variety of tasks. The specifics of what you will complete should be discussed during your interview and when you accept the job offer. Make sure you have what you need to step into that role and do an excellent job. Don’t be shy to ask about how to complete something or for more training if you feel something is lacking after orientation.
Take notes during the orientation and training. Then ask for help with anything that isn’t answered at the end of the day. If you are lucky enough to have an employer offering several days of training or a mentor to work with you, they can cover that information with you in the next couple of days. It may be too much to cover all on that initial day when you start the job. Find a starting point and go from there. Once you know your tasks you can prioritise them.
Pay attention to who seems to be the expert on this topic or that within the organisation. You may get a feel for that on your first day. You can ask those people to give you one-on-one assistance with things you find difficult in the weeks ahead as you learn the specifics of your job.
Offer Insight or Assistance where you can
As you go through the day, you may be invited to meetings or hear about projects. Offer insight where you feel you have something valuable they can gain value with. You can also offer your assistance, giving them the impression, you aren’t afraid to face challenges or do something extra. Give the new job your all and put your strengths into play. Work on any weak areas. This can be a prime time to learn new skills and master something that eluded you before.
This job may be a stepping stone for your future or it may be the place where you work for many years to come. The first day on the job can be scary at first but being self-confident and aware of your surroundings will help you make the most of it. This could be the start of a job you love and a wonderful opportunity!