Tips on Surviving the First Day on the Job

You finally get the call. After 3 intense interviews, you’ve been hired. You’re excited, but the feeling soon wears off because it’s replaced with first day jitters. Fear not, because your first day checklist will provide tips on surviving the first day on the job.

Assuming that you start on Monday, you will go to your local Walmart on Saturday. Pick up a new steno pad and a pack of pens. This will not only provide the illusion that you are a prepared employee, but you will be jotting down some notes on the second page of the steno pad that will get you through the day. Make sure that they are on the second page. You may forget that they are there, and you do not want your nosey neighbor knowing that you wrote “fake it till you make it” on the top line. That’s correct. Write this in bold letters. When you walk through that door, you are clueless, and that’s ok. You need to be reminded that you will get through everything, but until then, you will carry yourself, like you know everything.

All the while, you will soak up any information that will contribute to you getting through that first day of employment. First impressions last. Write this beneath your first mantra. You have already walked through the door between 12 and 14 minutes early (hint). If you’re too early, you may annoy the receptionist. She will be starting her day, and nothing is worse than multiple clueless employees already waiting at your desk on a Monday morning. Never tick off the gate keeper. Of course you will not be late. If you are late on your first day, you become that person. It’s very hard to shake that association, once it is implanted in someone’s head. By the way, until notified differently, you are dressed as if this is another interview. Your attire shows the level of how much you care.

Please care. This is your livelihood. Your third bullet point will be one word. “Smile.” This simple act, provides a comfortability to those around us. Until we truly get to know each other, this not only breaks the ice, but provides a comfort level to the people that we meet. How you finish is just as important as how you start. Thank your trainer before you leave. It shows an appreciation that is valued in work culture.

Consistently check your second page throughout your first day, as a reminder of your first day conduct. In the meantime, you will take notes and readily adapt to any changes in your expectations. After all, tomorrow is another day!

23 thoughts on “Tips on Surviving the First Day on the Job”

  1. I would be so nervous to write those lines in BOLD! What if someone saw? I guess that’s an icebreaker–everyone’s nervous–but that’s like putting a sticker on your back.

  2. I prefer Staples 🙂 But in all seriousness, it is a great idea to show up prepared. No one wants to be a pen-moocher on the first day!

  3. What a confidence boost! I’m going to try this when I start my new job next week, but with a twist. I’m going to make my phone’s lock screen have an uplifting quote to get me through the day. This way, when I check my phone on breaks out of nervous habit, I’ll have that extra nudge to be social.

  4. I agree whole-heartedly that you should continue to dress as if it’s an interview unless you are told otherwise. Better to be slightly over-dressed than inappropriate.

  5. Alllllways be early. Your first day you’re likely to make a wrong turn on your new route, forget ID they’ve asked for and have to turn around, etc. Planning extra time for your first day is key.

  6. Put the notes in the back of the book!! If you’re taking lots of notes, and run out of room, you’ll look foolish cramming them all in or skipping a page. And what if someone borrows your notes? Well hidden evidence or none at all!

  7. First impressions last. I love that! What a quick thing to say to yourself with such strong impact.

  8. Don’t be too much of a know-it-all. No one likes that. Confidence can border on abrasiveness and when you’re nervous you might not have a strong sense of how you’re coming off to people.

  9. “When you walk through that door, you are clueless, and that’s ok.” This is such an important point. Everyone always feels like they need to know everything right away. Take your time and learn. The first day is one of the few times you’re expected to ask a lot of questions and just listen and learn. Don’t pressure yourself too much. You’ve got a lot going on as is!

  10. The receptionist will almost always get mad if you are 30+ minutes early. There’s just no reason for that. If you find yourself being that early, check in and go get coffee. Slow it down.

  11. Oh man I remember my first day. I was soooo nervous but luckily the receptionist was super friendly and talked to me while I was waiting. That calmed me down a lot.

  12. I get bad first day jitters when I start a new job. It is scary to be the new guy when you don’t know what you are walking into. Some office environments are not welcoming.

  13. My very first job no one welcomed me. I got sent to a desk and was barely checked on. It was awful! My current job was so nice and I took a sigh of relief when I walked in and saw my desk set up with a welcome card on it.

  14. I am starting a new job on Monday. I’m already extremely nervous and I still have to get through the weekend. This was a helpful read just in time.

  15. Good tip about the steno pad. East to assume they will have supplies ready for you at your desk, but often that is not the case!

  16. I was sure I was going to love my new job because on first day everyone smiled at me when I was taken around the office. My jitters disappeared. Just a smile, and I felt good.

  17. For me, the first day was a nightmare. I was way overdressed and I got some looks that said Who do you think you are? The second day, no suit and no heels and I felt better. You should always learn the dress code before you start a new job.

  18. The woman assigned to train me was the best! She anticipated questions and offered me tips on how to get along with the rest of the women. The best tip was to wear less perfume!

  19. As a contract worker I’ve had lots of first days on lots of different jobs over the years. You get to know how to act, what to say, and who to trust pretty fast. Bring a smile and a good attitude to work and you should have a great first day.

  20. I made a mistake on my first job. I was so anxious to be perfect that my nerves got to me and I forgot most of what I was told to do. My advice is to bring a pen & a notebook with you, take notes and review them.

  21. Who doesn’t know first-day nerves? We research the company and our job title roles, pass the interview, get to work early, and STILL the nerves are there! The more prepared you are, the better chances of converting your nerves into positive energy. Stick to the plan.

  22. The first day can be difficult for almost anyone. Most employers realize this, so you will get the benefit of the doubt. If the employer does not realize this, then I would be skeptical about the position.

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