How to Have a Great First Day at Work

by Melanie Fischer

Did you recently graduate from college and you’re now on your job search? Did you just receive a new job offer? That’s great! You probably can’t wait to start! Are you a little nervous about how things will go?

Starting a new job is not easy. The feeling you have the day before you start a new job can resemble the way you felt when you were a kid on the night before you started a new grade at school. Nervousness is common and so are feelings of anxiety. Not only are you thinking about how you will learn to complete you new job duties, but also you are also probably worrying about meeting lots of new people. In addition, it goes without saying that you will have to get used to your new boss. Even though you are sure you will succeed in your new position, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry! This is normal!

To prepare yourself for a new job consider the following:

  1. If you recently graduated from college, try to arrange for a short break before you start your job. If you have a few days or weeks off you will have time to re-group and mentally prepare yourself for your new job.
  2. Figure out the best route from your home to your new job and decide whether you will drive, carpool, or take public transportation. Determine how long it will take to get to work in the morning – and make sure to account for rush-hour traffic. You will not want to be late on your first day!’
  3. Go shopping for snacks that you can bring to work. Sometimes new employees are required to sit through lengthy orientation sessions the first few days or weeks on a new job, and these sessions may or may not allow enough time for eating a full meal during your break.
  4. At least one day in advance of your start date, gather all the necessary paperwork that you will need on your first day. Oftentimes employers will mail you a packet of documents that must be completed before you can start working – such as insurance enrollment forms and emergency contact papers – and they might expect you to bring the completed paperwork with you on the first day. Also, make sure to bring your driver’s license or a picture ID and your social security card.

The First Week

During the first week at your new job, you will meet many new people and learn lots of new information. At the end of the week, you are likely to be exhausted. Use the following ideas to help make the transition into your new job as stress-free as possible.

Learn the names of your co-workers quickly. It will help you in the long run if you make an effort to get to know your co-workers. Making sure you know their names is a great place to start.

Try not to eat lunch alone. Hopefully your co-workers and your new boss will invite you to join them for lunch during your first week. But if they don’t, it’s a good idea to ask if you can tag along with them.

Don’t take office gossip seriously. During your first week of work it is likely that at least one of your new co-workers will take you aside and secretly tell you all of the office gossip. You may be told to avoid certain employees and you may be warned that other employees have certain undesirable personality characteristics. Don’t fall into the trap of listening to office gossip.

During your first week of work make sure to arrive on time. Showing up late is not a good way to make a great first impression. Make sure to arrive on time with a smile on your face – ready to start the day!

Author Biography:

Melanie Fischer is a writer for, a website that contains more than 1,000 career descriptions and profiles, career-related articles and a job board that lists thousands of current positions open across the United States.

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