Starting a new job is an exciting but stressful experience, especially when done virtually. Dealing with login issues, trying to remember everyone’s names, and taking in so much new information can be overwhelming. Below, we have some tips to make that first day a little less stressful.
Take time to prepare
Spend the night before organizing everything for your first day. Lay out what you’ll need, pick out an outfit, and get a good night’s sleep.
Getting a good sleep will keep you alert and energized through all your onboarding. You will likely spend a lot of your day on calls introducing yourself, so it’s important to make sure you have the energy to make an engaging first impression.
If you’re starting an in-person job, map out the timing and route of your commute. Consider all possible delays like morning traffic or a long line at the coffee shop.
However, if your new role is remote, there’s no excuse to log on late. Give yourself plenty of time to get your computer turned on, and log yourself in a few minutes early.
Dress for the job
We know how tempting it can be to wear pyjama bottoms and slippers when working from home, but we don’t recommend it. Ideally, employers express their business dress code after the interview or through employment handbooks.
If they don’t, you can’t go wrong with a business casual outfit that’s both professional and comfortable. Once you’ve got the general feel of how your new colleagues dress, tailor your wardrobe to fit the culture. Even when working from home, you want to present yourself as best as possible.
Keep hydrated and fueled
Tasks for your first day could vary from meeting new colleagues, filling in paperwork, or doing eLearning courses. Either way, expect your day to be a busy one.
It’s important to keep hydrated and have healthy snacks at hand to keep you energized. A bag of nuts, dried fruit, or a granola bar are always a safe bet.
Build connections with colleagues
Introduce yourself to fellow employees, especially those you’ll be closely working with. Make an effort to remember names and titles, ask questions about your new job, expectations, and what your role will bring to the team.
Try to arrange virtual coffee meetings with your new colleagues; it’s a perfect opportunity to discover more about your team and company culture. However, always keep it professional and avoid office gossip. Aim to channel your inner Switzerland and remain neutral.
Leave the past in the past
Remember, this new job is a fresh start for you. Beyond past work experiences and references shared in the interview, you don’t need to talk about the stresses of your old job or your reasons for leaving.
Different companies have different ways of approaching tasks, so don’t be scared to ask questions and learn new things as you adapt to your new employer. Once you’ve settled into the role, you can offer up suggestions based on your learnings, but don’t knock the new methods until you’ve tried them!
Professionalism is key
The only guarantee on your first day is that it will be full of surprises. Embrace it, roll with the punches, and keep an approachable, eager, and professional aura about you. Managers and colleagues will recognize and appreciate a positive attitude when things go awry.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and absorb as much information as you can. Remember that you were hired for a reason and you deserve to be there. It may take time to completely find your bearings in your new role, and that’s OK!