The first day of a new job can be one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences during your working life. You’re walking into a brand-new environment where usually you don’t know anyone else, you don’t know what they’re like, you don’t know what the culture is like and to top it all off even your job role at this point is still a mystery at this stage. All this can lead to first day nerves
However, overcoming those first day nerves is easier than you might think. With a few simple techniques and tips, you can walk into a new office looking confident and feeling prepared for the challenge ahead.
Preparation for first day nerves
Preparation is an excellent cure for new job nerves—no one wants to arrive in a new office on day one feeling dishevelled and caught off-guard. Just like your job interview, the impression you give and the impact you make on your first day can depend very much on how much preparation you’ve done.
Research the company again, what do they do? How do they help customers? Who are their competitors? Where do they compare to their competitors? Try to understand as much as you can about the company culture, use LinkedIn to research their employees, what are their interests? What are their job roles? Will they be important in supporting your new role?
Preparation will help you start smoothly on your first day at work, but it also means you’ll be up for the challenge of your first three or six months. Don’t forget you’ll be on a probationary period; in which you’re observed carefully to ensure you’re meeting the standards required.
Bring everything the job asks for – this could be documents such as your passport, P45 and national insurance details. This is a good chance to show your organisation skills, bring a folder to keep all the documentation you’re given, which might involve a contract. Finally, make sure you get a good night’s sleep.
Make sure you understand the role
Amongst all the first day nerves it can be easy to lose sight of why you’re there and what they employed you to do.
Take time beforehand to go over the job description for your new role, remind yourself of your responsibilities and what your day to day tasks will be. That way you’ll be able to go in with a real sense of purpose.
Think about what made you want the job and what helped you land it in the first place. If you’re feeling the nerves kick in, remember that the employer hired you because you were the best candidate for this position. They obviously have faith in your abilities and believe you’ll be a great fit for the role – so you should believe it too.
Don’t expect to know everything
You’ve already passed the biggest test, you got the job. You were the best candidate for the role, but that does not mean you will be the best at the job on day 1.
Your manager expects you to be unsure of things at this stage, don’t be afraid to ask questions and try not to panic too much if you make a mistake. Minor errors are all part of the learning process, your manager will generally be understanding of any mistakes you might make early on. Just make sure you take accountability for your actions.
Be punctual and presentable
You clearly made a great first impression on the hiring manager during the recruitment process, now you need to make a great first impression on the rest of the employees within the business.
Unless you’re 100% sure about what’s suitable, it’s wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to what you wear, it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Once you spend a few days at a new job, you’ll better understand what kind of clothes people wear.
Often on the first day, you’re asked to arrive a little later to give your team time to prepare. But whatever the situation, it’s wise to leave around half an hour earlier than you would to get to work on time.
Be organised and proactive
Be proactive and show a willingness to get stuck in. Asking questions and put yourself forward for tasks and responsibilities. Being a self-starter is a great way to make a good first impression, your new colleagues will appreciate your help and your efforts. If you can show leadership or initiative on your first day, it’s a huge positive and a marker for the future.
Familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, find where the coffee machines, toilets, fire exits, etc are. Is there a canteen which provides lunches? Where are the departments that you will be heavily involved with?
This really goes without saying on your first day and should continue for the duration of your employment. Make sure you’re always on time, work hard, avoid distraction and always be friendly and cooperative with your colleagues.
Usually, your manager or a colleague will take you on a walk around the office to introduce you to everyone, however, in some cases, this doesn’t happen. Either way, it’s good to be proactive and introduce yourself to as many people as you can, especially the people who will be crucial in helping you in your role. Although it is not a memory test it always helps to remember as many names as possible.
Take your time
The first day at a new job is always associated with information overload with HR documents, policies and procedures, health and safety, branding guidelines and information about your role and the company.
This can often become overwhelming leading to those first day nerves, so remember to take your time to go through each document and ask questions wherever you’re unsure. There won’t be a test on day 2.
Understand the culture
For many companies, cultural fit is a hugely important aspect when selecting new employees, so congratulations, the hiring manager believes you’re the right cultural fit for the company. Now you need to find out if the company culture is the right fit for you, so familiarise yourself with the people you will be working with, understand them, what are their interests, hobbies, etc. If you can find mutual interests this can really help forge successful working relationships.
There is also the possibility you will be asked to socialise with your new colleagues outside of work, make sure you go. This is a great opportunity to see people out of the work environment and show your true personality. Obviously, just be careful about alcohol and getting too drunk.
Write it all down
As we said above day 1 is always an information overload day. You’re not expected to remember it all, but it will always help if you have notes to go off. So, make sure you have a notepad and pen ready for the first day. Whether it’s general instructions, login information, people of interest, passcodes or to-do lists, write it all down.
Throughout our process, we will ensure you’re as prepared as possible for each step of the recruitment and induction process, from registration to your first day. If you’re looking for a new job, then check out our latest jobs and let us help you find the perfect role, so you can have the perfect and nerve-free first day.