6 steps for a successful first day at work

First day nerves?  The good news is we’ve all been there, and we’ve all made it through okay.

Everyone understands how you’re feeling and nobody in their right mind will expect you to turn up on day 1, and know everything, make zero mistakes, and churn out a ton of work.

Here are our top tips to help smooth the way.


Be prepared


Do a bit of reading about the company, you can look at their website online and you can read through any information you’ve been given along with your contract. Familiarising yourself the products or services, company policies, etc. could help you feel more comfortable on day one. It also shows the boss you’re keen.

Get a great night’s sleep, it’ll help you manage your emotions more easily, focus better and generally feel more in control.

Don’t forget to set your alarm and wake up in plenty of time to have breakfast & your shower.

Have your commute details all worked out. If you’re not rushing, then you’re less likely to forget something and you’ll start off feeling more relaxed.

Take a packed lunch too, if you’re not sure about when or where you’ll get lunch breaks – there’s nothing worse than starving all day and a rumbling tummy can be embarrassing.

Make a mental note of the name who you’ll need to ask for when you arrive.


First impressions


First impressions definitely do count.

Wear something appropriate for the job (if a uniform hasn’t been provided) and look smart. Take the extra time to iron your clothes, have a shave, do your hair and shine your shoes. If you look professional, you’ll feel more professional.

Make sure you arrive on time if not a little bit early. Employers will look really favourably on good timekeeping, it shows commitment and enthusiasm as well indicating that you’re reliable.


Show confidence


Even if you’re quaking in your boots, keep a smile on your face, give your colleagues eye contact when they speak to you, shake hands firmly. Try and remember to speak up so that people don’t have to ask you to repeat yourself (that could make you feel more nervous).

Acting confident can actually give you confidence too.


Be enthusiastic


Pay attention to everything that you’re told or shown. You won’t be expected to remember it all but your colleagues will appreciate that you’re trying.

You can always ask for a pen & paper (or take your own) and jot down any notes that you feel might be really useful.

Make sure you fully understand what your job is and what is expected of you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.


Check your work


When you’ve been shown how to complete a task, take a minute to check everything is correct before you move on to the next one.

Nobody is infallible and especially not on your first day. If you can find and correct any errors before anyone has to, it’ll boost your self-esteem and build your colleagues confidence in your abilities. (That means you could be given the good jobs sooner rather than later).

If you’re really stumped, or if you think you have made a hideously huge mistake, don’t sit there stewing on it. Just ask for help. Most people are only too happy to help out the newbie and would rather show you how to do it right than have to fix something later down the track.


Time to go


Don’t be the first person to rush out the door. If you haven’t finished your last task just take a few minutes to finish up, it’ll save you time in the morning and your effort will be appreciated.

Thank everyone who has helped you on your first day, not only is it polite but it’s a great way to ensure they’re still keen to help you in future.

Tidy up your work area, it’s respectful and professional – don’t tell your mum though, she’ll expect you to do the same at home too.


Think positive


You’ve been hired for that job above all the other applicants because your employer saw the potential in you and must have thought you would make a good addition to the team.

You can do this.

Remember that by the time you walk through the door on day 2, everything will already feel a whole lot more familiar and it won’t be nearly as daunting.

Sign up for our Newsletter

We won’t send you spam, or fifty emails a week. We just send opportunities that could help you find a career you love

Scroll to Top

Fill in the form to update your details

Oops! You need to be logged in to use this form.

Welcome Back

Everything's where you left it