Congratulations! You’ve just secured a brand-new job in a warehouse. You’re excited about the work and meeting new people, but then the questions start to pile up.
What do you need to know? What should you ask about? Are you ready for the responsibilities — and what are they anyway?
Here are five tips to make your first few days and weeks a little easier.
- Make sure you have the right footwear. You’ll be spending most of your days standing up and walking around, so you’ll need a good sturdy pair of boots or shoes. You might even consider doubling up with supportive shoes and some inserts to provide a little extra cushion and comfort. Eight hours or more each day on your feet gets tiring, and additional support can keep you feeling a little more energized. If you don’t have a chance to get some before you start, ask your manager or coworkers what kind of shoes they wear when you start up and take their advice.
- Ask questions. A lot of questions. It’s the best way to learn and the fastest way to get acclimated to your new environment. Ask questions of your supervisor, your manager, your team. Ask simple and complex questions, from “what do you wish you’d known on your first day” to “where’s the bathroom” to “where do we keep extra supplies,” etc. People will be patient and forgiving, especially in your first few days, and will be willing and maybe even eager to help you — the faster you get up to speed, the quicker their burden is reduced, and you can start helping the team move forward.
- Be friendly. Even if you’re normally kind of shy, try to say hello and introduce yourself to as many people as possible, especially that first week. This isn’t encouraging you to be fake or appear more outgoing than you are, but it will help make a good first impression if your new coworkers see you trying to make an effort to get to know them, their names, their jobs, and how you fit into the team overall.
- Bring lunch. While you’re still getting acclimated, bringing a lunch serves two purposes: 1. You’ll have something ready to go when you get a break and won’t have to go hungry or forage for snacks in the vending machine (and let’s be honest, bringing a lunch is a healthier option than one of chips, cupcakes, and sugary drinks, delicious though they are). 2. It’ll save you time on your break, allowing you to get something to eat right away instead of having to make a trip outside the warehouse to pick up something. Plus, being able to sit in the breakroom with your new team gives you another opportunity to get to know the people you’ll be working with. That’s a win-win-win!
- Arrive early. This is good advice for the first day on any job, but it’s also just good working advice for any job, any time. Showing up a few minutes early gives you a chance to get ready to work and get your head in the working mindset. If you need to do anything to set up your workspace or if you need to get a cup of coffee or use the restroom, being at work before you’re supposed to clock in gives you a few extra minutes to get things done. On your first day, getting in a few minutes early is a good first impression to make for your new boss, showing that you’re committed and eager to get to work.
You’re going to have so much to learn and so much to take in over the next few days and weeks, but be a close listener and pay attention to everything. People won’t expect you to know everything right away, but do the best you can and make a good impression — it’ll go a long way toward building a rapport with your new colleagues and will help you get up to speed faster. Good luck!