Handling First Day Jitters - Prepare, Relax and Listen

Nearly every new employee is nervous on the first day of work. It’s natural. You’re starting a fresh career in an unfamiliar setting, and you naturally want to do well. As with starting any new venture, it’s wise to prepare, relax, and listen.

Eliminating nervousness and impressing your employer

    You’ll want to start by getting comfortable. Chances are your supervisor or manager will take you for an extended tour of the jobsite on your first day. Get to know your environment by asking questions, stopping to introduce yourself to each of your new co-workers, and adopting the company code of behaviour. Is it a professional environment? Keep it formal. Is it more casual? Share an amusing anecdote about one of your experiences in the industry. Adapting to the company culture takes time, but it is crucial in establishing a positive early impression.

    Enthusiasm is essential. Employers love to see their newest recruit is excited to be there. Ask for your first assignment or task – don’t wait for your supervisor to hand it to you. When you complete your first duty, ask if there’s anything else you can do. Whatever you do, do not sit at your new desk and stare at the wall. Showing initiative is always important, but especially so in the earliest stages of a new job.

    A good way of doing this is by making an effort to connect with clients. There is an element of customer service in nearly every industry, whether it be changing tires or preparing income tax statements. No matter what you’re doing, you are, in some way, interacting with the people who keep your new workplace in business. As such, you have to show you can deal with people from the start. Ask to deal with a client or customer as soon as you feel comfortable to do so. Be as friendly, helpful and considerate as possible. If you’re unsure of something, explain that it’s your first day of work, and that you appreciate their patience. Most customers will understand, and your employer will be thrilled to see you making the extra effort.

The importance of feedback and self-reflection for improvement

    As your first day comes to an end, be sure to ask your boss how you did. If he or she replies “great,” good for you! You’re likely on your way to a stellar career in the company.

    However, in the far more likely instance that he or she has a few comments or suggestions, you shouldn’t take it personally. It’s your first day, after all, and you do still have a good deal to learn. Listen carefully to employer feedback, and make efforts to implement their ideas.

    When you finish your first day, take a bit of time to reflect. Record your early impressions of your new career; it will help sharpen your focus as you strive toward success.

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