What to Expect on Your First Day of Work

You are ready to start your first day of work.  Since you’ve already been hired, the hard part is over, right?  Maybe not.  Your first day on the job will hand you a multitude of challenges that can be difficult for a new employee.  Here are some examples of what you can expect:

To be overwhelmed with information.

On your first day of work, you will have to retain a great deal of information including people’s names, important procedures for your position, as well as the location of the bathroom.  Of course, nobody expects you to remember everything.  Just focus on the most important points, take detailed notes, and try to find a co-worker who is willing to answer your questions.

To be sized up.

As a new employee, you need to be aware that your coworkers will try to determine if you are competent, if you will be a competitor for future promotions, and who you will align yourself with.  Your best approach is to be friendly to everyone and to stay focused on your job.

To be thrown into the deep end.

In today’s competitive environment, formal orientations are rare.  In most cases you are expected to hit the ground running.  If you find yourself in this situation, don’t let it intimidate you.  Rely on your experience to guide you, ask a lot of questions and don’t feel bad if you make a mistake.

To feel awkward.

There is no doubt about it; being the new person is uncomfortable.  You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know your coworkers, and you don’t even know where to get a sandwich.  Try not to let the first day jitters get you down.  Everyone goes through it and before long it will pass.

Nothing is ready for you.

When you’re new, you feel awkward enough and the fact that you don’t have a desk, computer, or office key certainly doesn’t help.  Don’t read too much into it.  Most companies are so busy that they don’t even start to prepare for a new employee’s arrival until their first day.  You should be fully equipped and ready to go within a week or two.

After spending so much time trying to find a job, it is understandable that you are anxious to overcome the ‘new kid awkwardness’ and just get to work.  Unfortunately, it is a necessary part of the process.  Be prepared for it, but don’t take it too seriously and remember that every one of your co-workers was the new kid at some point.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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