It’s your first day at your brand-new job, and while you’re excited to get started, you’re nervous about fitting in. You’re not alone – most people feel anxious in a new work environment, and can find not just the first day, but the first few months stressful. Here’s how to keep those butterflies at bay and feel like part of the team:
1 Get there on time
It may seem obvious, but often when starting a new job you’re driving to a completely different location, and facing new traffic patterns, not to mention looking for parking. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to for rush-hour traffic and parking issues, and ensure you know where to go and who to speak to as soon as you arrive.
Related: 6 Tips for time management
2 Set up your desk
Your work environment will seem new and strange at first, so the easiest way to fit in is to create a corner you’re comfortable with. Bring along one or two items on your first day to personalise your desk – once you’re more familiar with the office setup and what’s acceptable, you can bring in more items to fully customise your workspace.
3 Chat to your boss
It’s likely that your boss is one of the few people you already know at your new job, having sat through various interviews with them, so it’s a good idea to touch base if they haven’t already set up a meet and greet with you. Pop your head round the door if appropriate, or schedule a formal 10-minute appointment, and let them know you’re grateful for the opportunity, and ready to make the most of it.
4 Introduce yourself
You’re on your new colleagues’ turf, so it’s up to you to get to know them. Introduce yourself to as many people as possible, remember their names, and be as open and approachable as possible. It’s unlikely you’ll make fast friends on your first day, but a little small talk goes a long way. And if there’s an open invitation to after-work drinks on a Friday, go along for one or two and network.
Related: How to be confident at work
5 Ask questions
Your new roles and responsibilities. Your email password. Where the ladies’ room is. On your first day, and most likely your first month, you won’t know the answers to any questions, so ask away. A good place to start is with the people on either side of you, or anyone you may have already introduced yourself to.
One of the most common mistakes new employees make is talking, and not listening. It’s understandable, as in any new job you want to prove yourself to management. Often, however, this willingness to please can be mistaken for arrogance – a new employee coming in and making statements about issues they don’t fully understand. Rather take a step back while you’re still finding your feet, listen to what others have to say, and offer an informed opinion where appropriate.