The first day of my first job was a very stressful day for me. I worked for a toy store, and my first day on the job was the grand opening of the store. We had only a week of training, and for a 17 year old, it was a lot to take in. There were hundreds of customers, lots to remember, and not a lot of time for questions. I made a lot of mistakes, and learned what I needed to do when I got my next job. I’ve created a guide to help you get through your first day at work and start on the road to success based on my experience as both an employee and a manager. I hope it will reduce your anxiety and prepare you for your first career.
It is a good rule of thumb in general to always be a little early to work. You will not want to clock in early, but arriving early may help you calm your nerves. If you work for a company that requires a uniform, arriving early can let you get dressed and still be able to start work on time. It also shows your employer that you are excited and committed to your new job. I always appreciate when my employees come early and it makes a great first impression.
It may seem silly, but carrying a small notebook and pen with you on your first day is a great idea. If you work for a company with lots of technical details or you’re working on machinery, making a step by step guide for yourself in language you understand will be very helpful. Your first day will likely be training, so this is the time to soak up all the information you can. You will likely be shadowing someone or working alongside a manager. I always encourage my new employees to take a lot of notes so they can study their new job.
In addition to taking notes, its important to use your first day at work to ask questions. If you’re unsure of a policy or just want to know more about an aspect of the job, speak up. I love having an employee who takes initiative and asks questions, as it shows they care about job. If you’re watching training videos or reading training materials, it is a great idea to pause when you have a question and get clarification right away. No question is a dumb question, so ask away.
Don’t Be Shy
Your first day will be a chance to get to know your coworkers. While it can be intimidating to be the newbie, be friendly with your new coworkers. Everyone will probably want to get to know you and by showing your personality, you can make your transition easier. I always introduce my new trainees to my other employees and allow them time to make connections. You may not have that luxury where you work, but making a good first impression can help you make friends at work you can go to with questions or for advice.
Your first day of work could be the start of a life long career, or perhaps help you find your career path. Be confident, patient and enthusiastic even when you feel frustrated. You will get the hang of your job soon, and starting on the right foot can make it even easier.