The first day of a new job can be extremely daunting but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Here are a few ways of minimizing the stresses of day one.
Get enough sleep
In order to take in everything that will happen on your first day, such as your new colleagues’ names, the company policies and how to work the photocopier, you have to be on full alert. Ensure you get at least eight hours of sleep on the night before you first day to be your best at work.
In order to ensure you don’t end up arriving late on your first day, tackle the following things the night before:
- Your outfit: All eyes will be on you, so choose your outfit wisely the night before. Ensure that you’ll be wearing something that’ll make you feel comfortable and confident. If you’d like to dress in order to fit in the office crowd, think back to the day you went for your interview. If you remember everyone wearing casual outfits, wear something, semi-casual, but office appropriate, as well.
- Your lunch: As it is your first day, you probably don’t know if you’ll be able to take lunch or where the office cafeteria is. Pack treats that you can munch at your desk, like yoghurt and granola bars.
- Bring along important documents: Your HR department will require certain documents, such as a copy of your ID, your tax reference number and your proof of residence from you to keep on record. Bring those with you on your first day to avoid getting off on the wrong foot with HR.
Get to work at least a half an hour before you’re meant to start. This way you’ll get to know your colleagues one by one, as they arrive as opposed to being introduced to them all at once, which is a little impersonal. Someone may even be there to show you to your desk and help you set up your workspace, which will save your boss the trouble of having to organize this. Show that you’re ready to work
To avoid getting off on the wrong foot, make it clear to your new employer that you’re enthusiastic about this new job. Your new employer will have provided you with an outline of your tasks after your interview, so start inquiring about how to go about doing them as soon as possible. Don’t take too many breaks if you don’t want to come off as slacker. Your first day will fly by if you’re keeping busy.
Be a sponge
Learn as much about your new company’s official and non-written rules as possible. This way you can prevent making fatal career mistakes in your first week. Ask for a copy of the Company policy manual from the HR department and keep it in your desk drawer. For the more subtle rules of conduct, keep an eye on how everyone dresses and behaves in the office. Relying on the office grapevine for a few tips on how not to behave is fine as long as you don’t partake in sharing office gossip.
Be yourself when introduced to new people. This may be a fresh start, but you don’t have to change integral aspects of your personality just to impress your colleagues. Besides, when you’re spending 75% of your time with the same group of people, you’re bound to lose the façade sooner or later. Just relax, be confident and don’t allow others’ perceptions to affect how you feel.
Your first day is bound to be quite overwhelming as you’ll be learning so much, but it is important to remember that you were hired because you have the skills to be successful in all you do. And if you prove your worth, any first-day snafu will be forgiven.