Just imagine: today is your first day at a new job.
You’re happy and excited, and you’re nervous and worried. A first day at a new job is monumental, filled with possibilities and potential pitfalls. You’re stepping into a situation that’s a total unknown and you’ve got to quickly figure out the little things (from the location of the coffee machine to the location of the closest bathroom) and the big things (from co-worker dynamics to management expectations).
It sounds daunting, but a first day is a first step into your best future. It’s a thrilling time, and we at Masiello Employment Services have ushered many people through this process. Here, we share a few secrets to a successful first day at a new job.
Fight First-Day Jitters
Do everything you can to keep nerves at bay. A few ideas: Take several deep breaths. Play relaxing music. Decline a second cup of coffee. Plan to arrive at your new place of work at least 15 minutes early.
Boost Your Confidence
A first day presents you with a lot of situations to which you aren’t familiar (new names to remember, new tasks to master) and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even inadequate. Keep confident by knowing first days are notoriously big deals, and look at all the new things as exciting rather than scary. If all else fails, trust that they really did hire the best person for the job, and remember to see all your new co-workers and management as people not just positions (each one had a first day there, too).
Have an Open Mind
They do things differently at your new place of employment than they do anywhere else. Don’t compare things to what you know (wait until a later date to present any ideas for what you feel are improvements) and value your place in the company.
Keep Expectations Low
For your first day, you might daydream that your boss takes you to lunch or new co-workers gush about how much they appreciate you’re now part of the team, but it’s best to have low or no expectations. Everyone still has a job to do, even if your first day is noteworthy to you.
Expect First-Day Challenges
You might find you’re missing a favorite co-worker from your last job or you made a mistake a few hours in and you’re afraid you’ve made a bad first impression. Give yourself a break. Try to celebrate where you are and what you’re doing. If you miss someone from you old job, invite him or her to lunch in a couple weeks. If you make a mistake, fess to it completely and move on without dwelling on the error (it’s your first day and everything is new, learning takes times, and no one is perfect).
Remember Everybody’s Name
A first day often includes learning lots of new names. Avoid forgetting lots of new names with these tips:
Repeat: When you’re introduced to someone, repeat his or her name in your head and out loud by saying “Lisa, it’s great to meet you” or “It’s wonderful to meet you, Lisa”.
Make an Association: Perhaps Lisa is your best friend’s name, and you can easily remember co-worker Lisa’s name by that association. If there’s no instant connection, think of a play on words; perhaps Lisa makes you think of “Lease-ah” and you picture a lease when you see Lisa. Alternatively, ask questions to get details for associations; perhaps Lisa volunteers to build houses with Habitat for Humanity, and you create an image of Lisa hard at work, saw in hand (Li-saw being the trigger). It seems silly, but it works.
Be Honest: If you can’t remember someone’s name, say so. Just be sure to frame it in a positive way, with something like, “I’ve really enjoyed meeting you, but I can’t recall your name” or “I’ve met so many people today that I’m afraid I won’t recall every name; please repeat your name so I can remember.”
Ready for your first day? Of course you are! Get one step closer to your first day when you give your Masiello Employment Services recruiting team a call.