A man sat at his desk being helped by a women pointing at his computer screen

January 30, 2024, by lqyhs14

Mastering day one: Overcoming new job jitters

By Hemakshi Soni, BA Sociology and Social Policy © via Unsplash by Desola Lanre-Ologun

So, you’ve cleared the initial application, nailed the nerve-wracking interview and you’ve secured a position at a placement or a job and now it’s time for your first day. First of all, congratulations! This is a big achievement and it is important to acknowledge your accomplishments, even when first-day jitters start to seep in. Here are some top tips and advice to help you prepare and make your first day more manageable.

Being prepared

  • Plan ahead to ensure you have the correct date and time. Being punctual and avoiding last-minute rushes will reduce some of the first-day jitters.
  • Familiarise yourself with the location and transportation, if you need to take the bus, be sure to check the timetable.
  • Confirm the dress code and anything you may need to bring for your first day with your supervisor.
  • Emailing your supervisor and thoroughly reading the job description may ease some worries about what to expect when you first arrive.
  • Do some research on the organisation beforehand to understand its values and the work environment.

Dealing with imposter syndrome

  • It is natural to feel anxious in a new environment but remember there is always support available from the university as well as your supervisor.
  • Have confidence in yourself that you have earned your place and were offered this role for successfully proving yourself through the interview and application process.
  • Imposter syndrome can be challenging however stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to develop self-assurance and helps you realise you deserve your achievements.

Asking for support

  • Don’t be hesitant to ask any questions, everyone understands that it is your first day and that you may need some guidance.
  • Seeking support is crucial for your learning experience and ensuring you are making the most of the experience.
  • You will find that people are usually more than happy to help and guide you so take advantage of the opportunity to learn from others.

Meeting new people

  • Building connections and getting to know co-workers begins with a simple smile and a friendly approach.
  • Ask your co-workers about their experiences and what they enjoy about the job. This can open the door for interesting conversations that can also help you gain further insight into what to expect.
  • Learning names, showing a genuine interest, expressing gratitude and being polite goes a long way in creating a positive first impression.

Let this serve as a reminder to be kind to yourself and have confidence in your abilities. It is normal to feel nervous initially but give yourself the grace and time to adjust to a new professional environment. This is an invaluable learning opportunity which can contribute to your personal and professional growth so embrace uncertainties and have patience so that you will not only adapt but also excel at this role.

If the prospect of beginning a new job feels daunting, discover effective ways to prioritise your well-being with the Careers and Employability Service. Alternatively, speak to a careers adviser who can help you prepare.

Posted in Career wellbeing