A new boss, new routine, new colleagues, new title, new company – the word new reverberates through your head incessantly before your first big day at a NEW job. If you’re like me, new is synonymous with scary and it can become easy to feel a bit anxious before you dive into your first day at your new job. I actually just completed my first day at a new summer job today, and it inspired me to share these tips that helped me feel comfortable and confident before and during my first day.
1. Do your research
You should have done some research on the company before you interviewed and even before and/or after accepting the position, but it still doesn’t hurt to do some research on your position and the people you’ll be working with before your big first day. For example, I recently started a receptionist position to make some extra cash during the summer and although I had done plenty of jobs like this before I was still anxious about what I would need to be prepared for my first day. To ease my nerves, I created a cheat-sheet with the names, extensions, and a short line of info I would need to know about the people in the office. I ended up not needing it, but it really helped me to feel more prepared for my first day.
2. Ask questions
This is along the lines of the previous tip, but definitely don’t shy away from asking questions. I know no one wants to be that person who looks incompetent, has no clue what they’re doing, or that nags you every two seconds with a new question, but asking a question any time you may not know something is completely acceptable and in fact demonstrates your responsibility and eagerness to do well. Of course if the answer is easy searchable on the web or employee manual you should try and see if you can figure it out yourself before asking a colleague or supervisor. But if you’re totally stumped and have no clue what you’re doing, it’s better to ask than to end up making a major mistake on your first day (like hanging up on the CEO or pushing a button that burns the whole building down… Okay maybe not that drastic but you get the point).
3. Introduce yourself
This is absolutely essential. On your first day, if your supervisor or colleagues haven’t introduced you to others (and even if they have already), take the initiative and introduce yourself. Not only does this make a good impression and help you socialize and integrate yourself into your new company, it can also prove to be a strategic decision in your benefit. My first day at my current position, I had met the woman who works at the desk next to me before I started, but I was totally blanking on her name. I could imagine the awkward imminent scenarios in my head (a client comes up to me and having no answers I shout over to her HEY YOU, help!). So I simply went up to her, asked for her name again, and made small talk before getting to work. Future awkward scenarios avoided!
4. Buy a new outfit
This is my personal favorite advice because I’m a total sucker for retail therapy. Buying a new (work appropriate) outfit can help boost your confidence. Plus it gives you a little extra something to look forward to (besides a steady paycheck, cause that’s important too) on your first day.
5. Do something relaxing the night before your first day
My final tip is to do something that helps you destress and that you really enjoy before your first big day. Have a fun movie marathon day or curl up with a book – whatever makes you happy. While you should make sure you have everything you need for the next day (your outfit laid out, coffee made, lunch packed, and other night-before tasks that will make getting ready in the morning easier for you), don’t sit around and stress out over every little detail and what-if for your first day. Finally, make sure you also get a good night’s rest so that you can feel relaxed, recharged, and energized for the day ahead of you.