You spent countless hours during your job search sending out resumes, attending networking events, visiting booths at job fairs, interviewing, and of course, sending out those hand written thank you letters… and alas, it paid off, you got the job! There is no doubt today’s job search can be difficult, so take some time to celebrate this accomplishment. But keep in mind, the work isn’t done, soon you will need to begin preparing for round two -- your first day on the job.
It's natural to feel nervous on your first day, but it is important to prevent your nerves from taking over. Organize your thoughts to prevent feeling overwhelmed, and remember to ask yourself a few key questions before heading to your new workplace:
- What should I wear?
- What should I bring?
- How early should I get there?
It’s important to mentally and physically prepare yourself for the first day. More than likely, your hiring manager will have already made you aware of anything specific you need to bring with you, follow these and any other instructions or be sure to ask your new manager directly before your start date. This can also be your first chance to display your ability to properly follow directions and plan ahead.
You only have one chance at a first impression, so what you wear to the office matters. Avoid flashy colors and jewelry and stick to basic professional attire, at least for the first day. When you get there, take a look at what your colleagues are wearing to determine the appropriate dress code. Remember, it's better to be too dressed up than too casual. Finish off your first impression by arriving five to ten minutes early and displaying a positive attitude.
Once you begin meeting with the rest of your new coworkers, stay confident and remind yourself that the company hired you for a reason, but also understand this is a learning opportunity. Be sure to ask thoughtful questions and listen to the feedback provided. To break the ice, consider asking your new teammates, the following:
- How can I help you do your job better?
- Do you prefer to communicate in person or via email?
- What are the team’s goals this year?
The first day should be exciting! Don’t think for a second that you’re the only nervous one, chances are they may be anxious too! This is your chance to show your new employer why they hired you. Control what you can by preparing ahead of time, displaying confidence and presenting a positive attitude. Get a good night sleep because it’s going to be a big day. Think positively, be engaged and the rest should come together.