Let’s face it – from starting your first day of school to starting your first day at work, almost everyone has experienced the first day jitters.
The fear of the unknown is difficult to avoid. Will you like the job? Will people like you? Will you make friends? What if you get lost?
It’s normal to be nervous. There are a million questions that will run through your head leading up to the big day.
So how do you calm these nerves and ace your first day? Here’s some advice:
Be as prepared as you can possibly be. Make sure you have all the things you will need in order to be successful.
This may include your paperwork for human resources, a packed lunch, a pen and notebook in case stationary isn’t provided for you right away – think of the things that will help you feel as comfortable as possible on your first day.
If you aren’t entirely sure what you should bring along, shoot an email to the manager you’ve been in touch with. Ask them if there is anything specific they would like you to bring along with you on your first day.
Map out your route
It goes without saying that you don’t want to be late for work. It doesn’t leave a good first impression with your employer, and it will likely leave you in a nervous and negative mindset for the rest of the day.
But you can plan ahead. Be sure to set your alarm the night before. If you’re a heavy sleeper, set multiple alarms in case you miss the “snooze” and turn it off by accident. (Hey, it happens!)
Knowing exactly where you are going, and who you are meeting will also help. Map out your route in advance for getting to work, and leave extra time just in case there is traffic or issues with transit. You may even want to try out your route or routes beforehand, if you’re unaware of how long it is going to take you.
Know what to wear
This is probably one of the most common dilemmas on the first day. What are you going to wear that won’t make you stand out like a sore thumb?
If you didn’t have a chance to observe the dress code during your interview, then ask human resources for the dress code beforehand. This will help alleviate your anxiety about what’s appropriate.
If you’re still unsure, go for your best business-formal outfit. It’s always better to be over-dressed – remember to dress for the job you want, and not the one you have!
After your first day, you will have more time to observe what other people are wearing, which will help you have a better understanding of what to wear in future.
Answer the unanswered
Have questions? Don’t be nervous – get them answered!
Remember that it is completely acceptable to ask questions. As they say, there is no such thing as a stupid question – no one expects you to know everything when you are new, so ask away!
If you have a question that you aren’t entirely comfortable with asking the hiring manager, you can always do your own research. A simple Google search or a glance over the company’s website can tell you a lot about the organization.
Relax. You interviewed for this position, and you deserve a spot here. They wouldn’t have hired you otherwise. If you’re having trouble finding your zen, give yourself a little pep talk to ramp up your confidence.
Remember that your first days and even weeks are meant for you to learn – if you go in with an open mind, and follow some of these above tips, you’ll be on your way to hatching your career in no time!