First day at a new job
There it is, that first day at a new job. It doesn't matter if this is your first job, or if you're transferring to a new company; that first day at a new job is always nerve-wracking.
It's completely okay if you experience your first day as stressful or intense. Really, we've all been through it. But that doesn't mean you can't make it more comfortable for yourself. Especially when you consider that you're about to start at the company you've been incredibly excited about for a while now. The one you've already completed an entire application process for and finally managed to sign a contract at. So, if you think about it, what's even left to worry about?
Is half the battle, or so they say. In other words, an important start to your first day at the new job. After all, if you can deal with some of the stressful issues ahead of time, you'll have a much calmer start to the day itself. So what can you do to be well prepared?
Easier said than done, especially with the adrenaline coursing through your body. Nevertheless, it's important to let yourself rest. Starting the day with a clear head helps you absorb information better and calms your mind.
Prepare your stuff in advance
There's nothing more frustrating than racing against the clock. So avoid the 20 minutes of stress about whether to go with light blue or dark blue in the morning, and lay out your clothes and bag for the next day. And what about lunch? If you have the option, ask your contact at the company whether you should bring some yourself or not. If that't not an option, prepare something anyway. That way you won't find yourself with an empty stomach halfway through the day. Oh, and don't forget to bring a little something as a snack, some extra vitamins or 'second breakfast'.
Bring a laptop or notepad
You'll have to deal with a lot of new information during your first day. Obviously, you're not expected to remember everything straight away, but the most important points should at least stick. So take a laptop, tablet or notepad with you and start writing! That way, you can always revisit things later. You'll likely get tired at the end of the day, which is why it is nice to keep your own notes. Who knows, perhaps questions that you didn't think of at the time will come up when you reread them.
Revisit the website
It's always a good idea to check who belongs to which department and who your immediate colleagues are ahead of time. Sometimes companies will organise an informal call or meeting to get to know the team before your first day at work, but this isn't always the case. So be sure to check who you'll soon bump into at the coffee machine on a daily basis.
Additionally, it's not a bad idea to review the company's values and philosophy. It helps in understanding why there are certain practices and ways to approach tasks.
Ready to go?
Preparations sorted, now on to the day itself. Fortunately, we have a few more tips on how to leave a good impression on your first day.
Arrive on time
Similar to a job interview actually. It's better to arrive early than late. Doing so shows that you're taking things seriously and that you're excited to get started. If you think circumstances will make you arrive late, always call your point of contact to let them know ahead of time. In other words, well ahead of the appointed time and not when the person has already been waiting for you for 15 minutes.
We get it, there's a lot of pressure on your shoulders today with lots of faces looking at you questioningly. That can be quite intimidating. However, these are the people you will be interacting with on a daily basis from now on, so be assertive and introduce yourself. And as tempting as it may sound to sit down separately at lunch after what has probably been an intense half day with a torrent of new information, it's best not to. Try to make an effort to get to know your colleagues better. It'll make your first week a lot more enjoyable! Feel free to ask them questions about the company, or other things like where the batteries are because you probably just picked the one mouse that ran out of juice.
Listen and ask question
It's normal that you don't know everything yet, and nobody expects you to. So don't be scared to ask questions when you don't fully understand things. It's important that you have a clear grasp of what your tasks are and what is expected of you. Based on the questions you ask, your supervisor will also have a better understanding of where he or she needs to expand or adjust the onboarding process. Win-win!
Moreover, don't restrict yourself to only paying attention to work-related information, but also try observe the unwritten rules and practices within the organisation. This will make it a lot easier to integrate.
That's it for your first day!
That must've been exciting, but also intense. Don't worry, you'll find your own routine before you know it. Still, avoid unnecessary overtime on your first day. Just let everything sink in and make sure to get some rest. There's always tomorrow!