A Stress-Free First Day on the New Job
Ever experienced new job blues or major anxieties on your first day? Didn’t get any sleep the night before? Well…you’re not alone. It is quite normal to have some levels of stress and anxiety or feelings of panic but they should not get in the way of your career. Many organizations offer employment resources such as new hire orientation and onboarding to help overcome the anxiety that is common with starting a new job.
Things To Remember When Starting A New Job
1. Find Out What To Expect On the First Day
Know where to go when you first arrive. Will you go directly to the personnel office, report to the office manager, or check in with your new supervisor? Every organization is different, so find out ahead of time what the procedure looks like. Other information to explore: What time should you arrive? (Punctuality is critical on your first day on the job!) What special equipment should you bring? What will your day consist of?
2. Prepare For Paperwork
Most new employees will be expected to complete some required paperwork during the first day or two on the job. You may be required to present verification of citizenship or immigration status, your social security number, licenses, health forms, drug test results etc., or complete an online request to submit relevant documents. Find out what to bring ahead of time, so you are prepared. You will also likely complete payroll information, so know your tax withholding information.
3. Dress Appropriately
Your appearance plays a tremendous role in defining how others view you. Dress business-like until you figure out what is appropriate and what is not. If uniforms are required, find out how to acquire them…who is responsible for the maintenance…who pays for amendments or replacements?
4. Know– and Exceed — Your Boss’ Expectations
Communicate with your supervisor so you will have a clear understanding of his/her expectations, your job duties, and the company procedures. Make sure you follow instructions and stay busy doing the company’s work (i.e., do not allow personal matters to interfere with your workday). Other hints: go the extra mile by volunteering for assignments; come in early, stay late, and complete all projects in a timely manner; report on results and ask for feedback regarding your performance.
5. Ask Questions and Seek Help When Appropriate
You know the saying, “The only stupid question is one you don’t ask.” No one expects you to know everything (or anything, the first few days on the job), so ask questions to clarify instructions, procedures, and expectations. Take notes, so you can review the information you receive. Never be afraid to ask for help…you do yourself a great disservice when you fail to ask.
6. Establish Good Relationships
Learn co-workers’ names and be polite and friendly to everyone in the organization. Participate in office activities (parties, picnics, luncheons), and make a point of dining and socializing with different groups of people. Engaging in conversation with co-workers can help you learn who’s who, the organization’s history, and the unwritten or elusive ‘rules’ of the workplace. Develop your network and enjoy your new acquaintances.
7. Never Try To Change or Improve The Organization
Every workplace has its own way of doing business. Even if you think you know a better method, your first few weeks, or months, on the job is not the time to try to initiate change. Never utter the words, “In my other company we did it a better way…”
8. Avoid Gossip
Almost every workplace has a “grapevine” or “rumor mill,” but you will be miles ahead if you avoid listening to, and especially contributing to, office gossip. Gossip breeds distrust and suspicion … and you want to be seen as trustworthy and ethical by co-workers and superiors alike.
9. Avoid Workplace Romances
Often, romances among co-workers are risky and counterproductive. Dating a co-worker can have a negative effect on your relationships with other workers and can detract from your ability to concentrate on your work. Also, think about what will happen when you break up; how will that affect your ability to function in your role? Find out if your company has a policy prohibiting romantic involvement among co-workers. If you do date a co-worker, try to separate your professional life from your private life.
10. Keep a Positive Attitude and an Open Mind
Adjusting to a new job can de difficult, but looking for the positives, and being open to new responsibilities, new experiences, and new relationships can ease the transition. With the appropriate commitment, motivation, and effort, you can write your own ticket to success in your new career.
Adapted from “Tips For Conquering New Job Blues”….Copyright 2003 by Arbor Education & Training Publishing, Austin, TX.