You got through the recruitment process, impressed the hiring manager and got the job!You got the satisfaction of handing your boss a resignation letter, worked your notice (well, you tidy your desk for two weeks) and enjoyed your leaving drinks (no doubt a little too much). Now it’s time to recover from that hangover and get excited about starting the new chapter of your career.
Getting offered a new position, especially one you’ve been so desperate to be successful with, is an exciting time. When you got the call, it took everything you had to politely and professionally accept, when all you wanted to do was jump up and down.
The second emotion that comes through after any job offer is the nerves. The interview nerves are now long gone, but this new type of fear is exactly the same as being the new kid at school. Will you know what you’re supposed to be doing when you get there? What if they find out you’re not really an expert with Excel? You’re not at school now, but you still question whether anyone will like you in your new job.
There is no need to panic, you got this far and the employer knows you’re a great fit for the job, so stop questioning yourself. Here is a guide to acing your first day and forgetting those newbie nerves.
1) Have a killer outfit prepared
Having a great outfit ready and prepared for your first day just makes you feel more confident.
Your interview usually gives you an insight into the office dress code, but if you’re unsure just ask. You don’t want to show up all casual Friday if everyone else is rocking business wear. Whatever the dress code, I would always go slightly smarter for your first day – you want to make a great impression. Even if the office is super casual, save your joggers until you have at least passed your probation!
2) Get to know everyone
The worst bit about a first day is remembering everyone’s name and I guarantee you that someone on your first day will make the joke “we’ll give you a test later” after they have just told you about a thousand people’s names.
Don’t worry too much about memorizing it all first time around, just pinpoint the important ones. Instead of just saying hi and wandering off to the next person, try and actually have a conversation – get to know the people you are going to be working with. Making connections helps you remember names.
A huge part of enjoying your job is the people you work with so start connecting. I’ll give you a handy tip: it is always good to know the names of the people in the IT department. Trust me if you’re new to a role, you will need IT support a lot!
3) Ask if you can get involved
Most first days are filled with a trip around the office, going through contractual requirements and completing any health and safety training that is needed. It is normally a quiet day and when your mentor needs to get on with their job, you can usually find yourself being asked to read through all the company policies.
Even though it can be quite boring, it’s necessary. When you’re done don’t sit quietly at your desk trying not to disturb anyone, speak up and ask if you can get involved.
Everyone loves a new employee that hits the ground running, so even if you just ask if anyone wants a tea or coffee, your colleagues will be impressed by your enthusiasm.
4) Find the kitchen
You’re going to find it hard to make that drink run without first finding the kitchen but I’m not suggesting you take a break straight away. The kitchen is a great place to meet people, you have had your formal introductions in the office tour but in the kitchen people are normally more relaxed and informal so you can find out what the office is really like.
Pro Tip – It’s a big no-no to eat food from the kitchen which has someone else’s name on it. Unless you want to start office wars, bring your own lunch – that random, maybe forgotten peanut butter sandwich isn’t worth it!
5) Understand the company ways
Every company is different and it’s going to take you a few months to settle into their processes and understand the company culture, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Although you aren’t going to learn everything about the company in a few hours, you can at least get the basics. I’m talking about dress down Friday, the day they all get breakfast, the monthly social and Friday drinks (the important stuff.)
6) Come prepared
No doubt you received a pile of paperwork when you were offered the job. Like most people, you probably glanced at it before putting it back in the envelope and “safely” storing it away.
This time, be more proactive and get all the paperwork filled out, completed and gather other important information (like ID or bank details) ready to hand in on your first day. HR will love you for it and it is always best to get on HR’s good side.
7) Make friends with your office neighbors
If you move into a new home you always want to get off to the best start with your new neighbors and it is exactly the same at work. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with these people so get to know them.
Be willing to share your snacks and you’ll be full-time friends in no time.
8) Don’t bring your life to work with you
Now we all know people who have pretty much their whole life on their desk (pictures, stuffed animals, enough stationary for a hundred offices yet they still won’t share a pen!)
If your office is fine with a bit of desk customization then great go for it, but don’t just assume and bring a box full on day one. If you want to bring items from home do it slowly, don’t overload your colleagues right at the start with twenty pictures of your cat.
9) Go for lunch
It is back to school all over again, the lunch bell rings and you don’t know which table you should sit at, so instead you eat alone in the corner.
At work there isn’t a “cool” table but do try and avoid sitting alone. Start with the people in your team or those you sit near and grab lunch with them.
10) Enjoy it
You got the job so stop stressing about the first day and enjoy the fact that you’re in! First days are rarely about actually doing any work, so get to know people, figure out where the bathroom is and just remember you’re not expected to know everything yet.
These are just a handful of useful tips for your first day at the new job. And we are sure you will do great.
Heading to a new job soon? What are you nervous about?