Mastering the art of starting a new job.
You did it! You survived hours of perfecting your resume, tweaking your cover letter, perspiring through interviews and coffee dates, and now you have a job! For some people that’s the hard part; for others, it’s just the beginning. If you identify with the latter and can see yourself having a minor freakout the night before your first day, here are some tips to make it a little easier on you.
- Research (again). Many people think they only need to Google the company and job description when applying, but it’s actually quite valuable to skim through everything once more before you start working. Boning up on your industry, job expectations, the culture of the organization, and even looking up your coworkers on LinkedIn will prepare you for most of the conversations you’re likely to have on day one.
- Control the controllables. Preparation is a highly effective tactic for conquering fear and stress. Planning as much as you can in advance will give you a greater sense of control and save you from having to worry about minor things. Some easy examples include deciding on your outfit, mapping out your route to work, and fixing your lunch the previous night. All of these preemptive measures will save you time and give you a more methodical start to the day.
- Manage your expectations. You might find that you don’t actually do any real work in your first few days. HR will probably have a lot of paperwork for you to fill out before you touch anything. It’s also not uncommon for new hires to have to wait some time before getting certain tools, resources, or equipment. Instead of becoming frustrated or feeling disillusioned, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate your resourcefulness and willingness to help in other areas. For example, if you don’t have a formal training program to follow, ask if you can shadow your manager or a colleague.
- Talk it out. Often the best way to overcome anxiety is to open up to a friend or family member, especially if they’ve had a similar experience. Vocalizing your worries to a sympathetic ear can help you feel better, even if no concrete solutions come of it. Depending on how comfortable you are with your colleagues, you might also consider talking to them about it. This can be particularly helpful if your job is highly stressful or emotional, as your coworkers may be able to give you advice to help you cope.
- Remember, they already love you. It’s natural to feel like you must prove yourself in your first days and even months on the job, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you already beat out dozens if not hundreds of applicants! You are the favorite, and your employer is rooting for you to succeed. Sure, that comes with its own level of pressure, but it should also reassure you that you do indeed have what it takes.
And what happens after day one?
Adjusting to change doesn’t usually happen over night. These other articles can help you make the transition, but if you’re looking for even more robust and customized resources ask your HR manager to look into LifeSpeak. Our digital library contains 1500+ expert-led video trainings, podcasts, and tip sheets to guide you along not only you career path, but also through any issues you might face in your finances, relationships, or health. You can request your login from HR, or have them set it up by getting in touch with us today.
Also published on Medium.