Surviving your first day in a new job

By Alex Hargreaves

Walking into the work place on the first day of your brand new job can be a terrifying experience. After hearing the news that you got the job, you most likely spent the following days phoning your parents, bumping fists with your friends and jumping around in excitement over the glorious news  that you are employed. It is great to think that whilst other people probably applied for the job, YOU were the chosen one. Not only this, but there will now be an endless supply of money gradually flowing into your bank account.  You know that even if your new job doesn’t sound very entertaining, not being poor is awesome and worth being excited about.  However, after the celebration ends, D day must come.  It’s time to prove that all of those stories you told about yourself in the job interview are actually true.  If your new boss thinks you can speak fluent Japanese, you might want to be able to say more than konitchiwa before the big day. Even though it’s scary to think about your first day on the job, we have some tips that you can use to take the edge off!

Surving your first day in a new job


#1 Eat Well 

You will probably have a major case of butterflies, however it’s important to force yourself to eat a filling and nutritious breakfast.  Your breakfast will help switch your brain on for the day and get you in the zone to be productive.  If you come to work hungry, you will be foggy and have trouble remembering your new colleague’s names.  It will also not look upon you favourably if your first question of the day is ‘when is my lunch break?’.


#2 Jot Down Notes Like There’s no Tomorrow

There will be a drop scroll worth of things to remember on your first day of work. Even though your brain is a sponge, it is doubtful that it will be able to absorb the amount of information that it will be overloaded with on the day. Help yourself out and jot down notes as you hear important things.  Names are important, and not just your boss’s.  Every time you are introduced to a new colleague, make a note of their name and where they sit so that you can minimize the amount of times you will need to ask them again.  If you are taught a business process, take down notes in a step by step fashion.  Even if there is an online manual for the process, it will come easier to you if you if you have notes in a language that you understand.  It’s also a good idea to write down any usernames and passwords for accounts that you create during the day.


#3 Know Where You’re Going

The night before your first day, Google Maps where your office is if you have never been there.  You should arrive no later than 10 minutes early (but not so early that it looks weird).  It is best to avoid any mini break downs on the day if you get lost and have to frantically ask people for help.


#4 Get Friendly with your Colleagues

Assuming you are capable of doing well in your new job,  you will be seeing your new colleagues on a daily (or almost daily if you’re not full time) basis.  It would be favorable to be on friendly terms with them.  If the chance arises, eat your lunch with them and  ask questions to get to know them better.  It is nice to start with questions like ‘how long have you worked here?’, ‘what do you like about working here?’ and ‘where do you like to eat?’. Even though it’s good to make friends, don’t get too personal with them too fast. It will be nice to tell them stories about you did in your old job, but not so nice if you tell them how you passed out drunk in an alleyway a few streets over from the office on the weekend.


#5 Be Humble and Keep an Open Mind

It is important to accept the fact that your first day on the job is a learning curve.  You will not understand how everyone’s roles fit together straight away and it will take time to master your new position.  Even if you have previous experience doing something similar, try to resist saying ‘I already know this’ and listen patiently to your colleagues instructions. You want to show that you are trying to learn their way of doing things and are open to change.  If you act like you know everything and you’ve done it all before, it will come across as arrogant and closed minded.  If you really are as good at your job as you think you are, proving it to your new colleagues and boss over time will yield better results than telling them all about it on your first day.


Dress to impress, arm yourself with a note book and head on into the work place. Once the first day is over you can breathe a sigh of relief.  The most nerve wracking part is over, now you just have to remember everything.

Author: griffithuniversitycareersservice

Welcome to Griffith Careers Service Blog! Here you will find informative and inspiring tips and articles related to part-time, casual and full time graduate employment.

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