The first day of a new job is so exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. You’re ecstatic to start a new chapter in your life and learn new things, but you’re also terrified that something might go horribly wrong – like they may have hired the wrong person on accident.
Because of some great tips on What to Prepare Before your Interview, you weren’t too nervous in your interview and you made a great impression. You’re called the next week and told you start Monday. Yay to making money, right? But the unease settles in your stomach. What if something goes wrong? I don’t know about you, but I always think the worst and then overly prepare so I can avoid it.
Before Your First Day of Work
There are a few things you can do before your first day of work to help you keep your nerves at bay and to make sure you are prepared to deal with anything that comes your way.
Check out places to eat
For the first few days until I figured out the break room situation, I made sure to bring water bottles to keep at my desk and money to go out to lunch. You can look up places in the surrounding area that you can eat on the internet, or take an hour or so depending on where your work is related to your home and go check out the area yourself.
Pick out your outfit
This one is fun. I like to pick out my work clothes. I usually look pretty professional which is a fashion choice that I don’t get to make very often. I’m sure that when I’m a true grown up (because being twenty doesn’t mean I’m an adult yet) I will hate professional clothes, but for now I still enjoy playing dress up. Plus, I got to go out and buy a bunch of new clothes so I can look professional so that’s always fun too.
Pack your work bag
This one I still need help with. My bags are always a mess and can be filled with receipts and gum wrappers (do any of you have any tips? I need some serious help here). But I do like to make sure I bring certain things with me at all times. I always make sure I have my wallet, chapstick, something to write on, a pen or three, ear buds, feminine hygiene products, pain reliever, and an extra phone charger.
Complete any paperwork for your employment
People often have to turn in paperwork for their employment at a new place. You don’t need to worry about finding this paperwork yourself. Your employer should give this to you. If not, make sure you are prepared the first day to fill out this paperwork. Know your phone number, address, and social security number and bring a photo ID.
Double check the address
I don’t know about you but I’m awful at directions. I am so thankful to my Google Maps app on my phone. Without it I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere. Before you head into your first work day, plug in the address into your GPS system and see how long it will take you to get to your workplace. Add in extra time for traffic and delays as well to make sure you arrive on time or even a few minutes early. If you have the time, have a trial run to see how long it will take you to get to work during the morning rush hour. During this time you can also check out the surrounding area to find a few places to have lunch from the tip above.
The First Day
This is what you can expect of a typical first day at a new company. Each company is different and may vary, especially depending on what your job is. You might not get the office tour if you’re a landscaper, and your training will be different depending on your job description.
You should arrive about 10 minutes early. I live by the rule: “To be early is to be on time; to be on time is to be late.” It also looks good to your employers. Showing up early shows them that you are responsible and looking forward to your work there. During your wait, read up on the company really quick and make sure you have all your required documents.
Compliance training is something that every new employee will have to go through. It’s to make sure you understand company, state, and federal policies in your workplace. My workplace showed us videos including one about the history of the company and then training on harassment in the workplace. You can expect the harassment training, which is learning what harassment is and the laws in effect about harassment in the workplace, at just about any new work environment. There are tons of other policies and info you will go over such as your lunch break, any paid breaks you may have, and how the company functions.
After your compliance training, you’ll probably be taken to the department you are working with. The head of that department will meet with you and tell you welcome and tell you about the department. Then you’ll probably be taken around and introduced to those around the department. As soon as you have a second alone and some free time, I would write down the names of all those you met and what they do.
As a temp, you don’t get much training I’ve noticed. It’s a learn-as-you-go kinda work. When someone is telling you how to do something, do take notes. This will help you remember what you are doing and how to do it as well as show your employers that you are willing to learn. Try to take down as much as they say, that way your trainer doesn’t have to repeat themselves.
Hopefully your morning has gone by fast and you are now heading to lunch. Your lunch break is probably half an hour to one full hour. If it’s just half an hour, I would go grab lunch and eat it on the way back to your company. Being late back to lunch on your first day is a horrible impression. If you have a longer lunch, bring something with you to pass the time.
After lunch on your first day of work, you will probably be given a little bit of freedom. They want to see how much you’ve learned and how well you apply it to the work you’re given. Keep busy and if you have nothing to do go around and talk to your new coworkers. Introduce yourself personally and let them know that you look forward to working with them and the company. Ask them if they have any advice to give you. Be friendly and open and you’ll make a great impression on them. They’ll remember that.
If you’ve survived thus far, it sounds good! I wish you the best on your first day at work at your new job and hope this advice has been able to help you in any way. Have any questions or concerns? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below and I will help you the best I can.