Feeling nervous about a new job is completely normal, as the transition from one job to another, the classroom to the workplace or unemployment to employment can be jarring.
You may be going from the highly structured nature of the classroom to a workplace where you need to make decisions on how to best use your time. Or you could be going from the almost structureless situation of unemployment, to having responsibilities each and every day.
No matter what the situation, there are a few steps you can take to increase your odds of having a great first day on the job.
Know what you are walking into
Not having enough information will both add to your nervousness and set you up for making mistakes. Therefore, it’s a good idea to research your new company and how it operates as much as possible.
There’s a lot you can learn by googling a company, from stories in the media to reviews from former employees on sites like Glassdoor. While you may have done this as a part of your application process, this time you’ll be looking for ways to fit in and avoid sticking your foot in your mouth.
Keep in mind that everything you read in the media and on the internet should not be taken as gospel. Do your research, but keep an open mind.
Set up for success
One of the worst things you could do on your first day is show up late. To make your first morning on the job as easy as possible, make preparations in the days before. Plan out the best way to get there on time and have a backup plan in case there is construction, an accident, your car wouldn’t start or a transit bus didn’t show up.
Make sure your clothes are ironed and shoes are shined. Lay out what you’re going to wear the night before and set two alarms, to make sure you have a backup alarm.
Introduce yourself to everyone
Usually, your supervisor will take you around to meet your co-workers. Take the initiative in meeting other people and don’t be shy about trying to make connections on your own. While great companies make it a point to have their employees reach out to new workers and make them feel comfortable, the onus to connect with people is generally on you.
As far as introductions go, don’t worry about trying to have long, deep conversation with everyone. However, it’s a good idea to ask them what they do and how long they’ve been with the company. If you pick up a tip on their interests, for instance, you spot a skiing photo on their desk, go ahead and ask about them about it.
Prepare a little personal back story for yourself as well, including where you went to school and your hometown. It helps to pepper in a bit of light humor if you can come up with something, but don’t worry about trying to be funny.
At Action Group, we take it upon ourselves to make sure our contract employees feel as welcomed as possible in their new roles. If you are looking to partner with a staffing company that offers this degree of support, please contact us today.