We’ve all been there, equal amounts excited and apprehensive about our first day in our new job. Doesn’t matter how many times you start a new job, it’s just as daunting. What if people aren’t friendly? What if you fail to make a good impression? Worst of all, what if you make a monumental, embarrassing mistake? Every nightmarish scenario runs through your head in vivid technicolour the night before when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. But it’s fine. Breathe.
Our top tips will get you through not only your first day, but your first week, month, until the day you are no longer the ‘new person’.
Wear Something You Feel Good In
It has been said that what you wear really can affect the way you perform in given situations. No, really. It actually messes with your hormones and heart rate. Improve the way you think and other skills and you’ll be away. On a shallower note, you can’t go far wrong wearing clothes that you feel both comfortable and confident in. Ensure you’re sticking to the office dress code and put your best foot forward.
Fake it ‘til you make it. You may be feeling anxious inside but put a smile on your face and you could even fool yourself into thinking you’re absolutely fine. It’s also a pretty good idea to remind yourself they hired you for a reason. In a short space of time, you managed to wow them and prove you have something they’re looking for. Take the day in your stride and be open-minded about the turn out of the day, rather than approaching it from a negative standpoint.
Grow a thick skin
It’s good to be self-assured and capable when going into a new job. That said, don’t allow that confidence to transpire into arrogance. With any job, you want it to give some kind of a challenge, so don’t push to prove yourself on the first day. Take the time to listen and really understand your role. Remember that just because you might be getting lots of feedback, doesn’t mean you’re terrible at your job. Grow a thick skin and take it all on board.
Don’t Struggle in Silence
Following on from that last one, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. You won’t look stupid, especially when you’re new. Asking lots of questions and checking in shows your employer when and when you’re not on the right track, as well as showing an eagerness from you to do well in your role.
Try to Socialise with Your New Team
As if you didn’t have enough to worry about actually doing well in your new job, you have to try and make people like you, too?! Having a friendly face or two at work can never be a bad thing, though. Be approachable and smile a lot. Try and create some lunch plans so you have a chance to talk and learn more about what different people do within the business. Never be stuck for a conversation starter by paying attention to what a select few people in the office say. Remember Karen has three kids and Derek has a passion for motorbikes.
Learn What & How People Like Their Drinks
Is there anything more joyous than the words: ‘Does anyone want a cup of tea or coffee?’ For tea and coffee drinkers, the answer is no. It’s likely you’ll end up doing a tea round at least once in every job you have, so you may as well get used to rustling up a hot bevvy. Be ready to learn if it’s milk or no milk, a replacement and how many sugars, if at all. Maybe even make a physical note for those dire situations where how Bob likes it completely slips out of your mind.
If you’re more jittery than normal, dealing with first day nerves can be more than the sometimes-overwhelming butterflies in your tummy. However, it’s not really possible to prescribe you the usual herbal remedies, because you need to be on the top of your game and not drowsy. Coincidentally, though, dealing with first day nerves tips actually look a lot like those we’ve already given you. Keep calm and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. They won’t put you right in the deep end straight away. Jobs are meant to offer a learning curve, so don’t worry about getting it all easily from the word go.
Alice is a writer for My Favourite Voucher Codes, a voucher code website who donates 20% of its profits to a chosen charity each month. She enjoys reading, drinking prosecco and her job.