As a career and life strategy coach, one of the most common questions I get from my clients is about tips to survive a first day at a new job. As insignificant as this question may sound, in reality, is a big and important one. According to Leigh Branham from the Center for Association Leadership, “about 35 percent of American workers quit their jobs within the first six months.” And, that’s not even including those who quit their jobs on their first day because they think they are not the right person for the job. Interesting stuff, huh!
If you just started a new job and even when you have been on this road before, you feel like you can’t breathe and your hands won’t stop sweating. Or, even more; you are afraid that you are not going to do good or that you new boss may not like you and you start regretting the decision you made about changing jobs, continue reading. Below, I will share with you five (5) good tips to help you survive that first day at your new job.
1) Try to gather as much information as you possible about the way the office functions. You should go for very useful information like working hours, lunch breaks, codes for the doors, and any other information that could make your second day at work a more organized one. The faster you become synced with the way people do things at work, the faster you will start feeling like part of the group.
2) During your training process, make a point to write everything down. This will be very beneficial at the moment your start flying solo. One thing that drives supervisors crazy is a new employee who instead of writing things down during his/her “learn how to do things” moments, relies on other employees to show him/her how to do things. Remember, your co-workers may be busy with their own tasks and the more self-sufficient you become from the beginning, the more productive the whole office will be.
3) Don’t think that because you used to do that same job before, then you know everything. Even if you were a pro at it, each company does things a little bit different. It’s okay that you show your new boss and new co-workers that you have experience in doing what you are required to do, but make a point of learning the new office’s mission and requirement before you start acting like you know everything. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Make sure you don’t cross that line or you people will start disliking you from the beginning.
4) Try to learn who does who in the office that way you know where to go if you need support with a task. If Tim is the one who manages X or Y task and you know your job depends on him doing his part; go and pay a visit to him in his cubicle and get to know him better. Once you start putting faces to tasks, you new job will become easier. According to Brett and Kate McKay, authors of the article Hit the Ground Running: How to Ace your First Day at Work and a First Week at a New Job, a great to build rapport is to start calling people by their names. Use that technique to your advantage and you will see how you will start making a difference not only in your own professional life but also in the lives of those around you.
And, last but not least;
5) Don’t isolate yourself from other people, especially during lunch and break hours. I know that being the new person in the office could be a little intimidating at first, but if you make a point of opening yourself up to meet new people and to spend free time with them, the chances of you making friends at work will be higher than if you decide to segregate from humanity and start spending your free time at your desk.
As you can see, my friends; the first day at a new job doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. It just requires you to have a good attitude about it and to have an open mind for the new things that you are about to experience.
The truth is that walking into a new job, especially on that first day, could be one of the most intimidating things that you will be facing during the course of your professional career. However, if you prepare yourself and again, have a good positive attitude about the whole experience, you not only will increase your chances of successfully surviving that day but will also be contributing into making the experience a more enjoyable one for you and for all the people around you.