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First Day Prep at a New Job

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Congratulations! You sent out your resume, nailed the interview, and you have successfully landed your dream job. It can be an incredible feeling to get a new position, and you deserve to pat yourself on the back! However, for many people, that excitement can wear off as their first day of work approaches, and it can be replaced by fear and worry. It is perfectly natural to have first-day jitters, but we are here to tell you that there are ways to stay calm and enjoy the experience.

If your new job is about to start, then these tactics can help you to be comfortable and more confident on the first day.

Start Preparing The Day Before

Some people get more nervous than others when it comes to trying something new. If you know that you will inevitably get nervous when you approach the office that first day, then it may be a wise idea to start mentally preparing yourself the day before.
Think about some of the aspects that get you nervous and practice getting through your anxiety. For instance, if you fear that you may be tardy on your first day, then spend some time planning your route and even practice driving it. The idea is to get to work early so you aren’t rushing and you can make a good impression. Just don’t try to get there too early, or you may end up sitting in your car for 30 minutes, and the nerves could build up again.


Another good idea is to plan out what you intend to wear on your first day. Dress appropriately for the position but wear something that makes you feel good. That could be a brand-new suit or a lucky collared shirt. Just make sure that it matches the dress code. Lay your outfit out now, so you don’t need to rush in the morning.


Finally, make it a point to get adequate rest the night before your first day. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep so you can wake up feeling mentally refreshed. If you are already nervous and you fear that you will have trouble falling asleep, then you may want to tweak your bedtime routine. Go to bed at a decent time and avoid eating a heavy dinner that could create digestive issues overnight. Avoid staring at your phone as you lay in bed and instead consider a relaxing activity like reading your favorite book. You’ll be asleep in no time.

Know What To Expect

The next step is to mentally prepare yourself so that you can be sharp when you arrive at work on your first day. You will likely be subjected to a lot of new information as you go through the onboarding process. Prepare to learn a lot, including the company policies, an overview of your initial responsibilities, the tools you will be using, and the login information that you will need to remember to access them.


You will likely meet a lot of new people. Don’t worry about remembering every name, as that will come over time. However, if you are typically nervous about meeting people and introducing yourself, then you can make it easier to break the ice by researching your colleagues ahead of time on LinkedIn. Proper research will give you discussion topics, and it will be a lot easier to match faces to names and remember those names.


While every first day will be a bit different depending on the company, one thing that you can count on is that you’ll likely be busy. If you aren’t prepared, then you may quickly become physically and mentally drained. You can prevent those negative feelings by making it a point to stay energized throughout the day by drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy lunch, and packing a healthy and energetic snack, like almonds. Coffee can also help but try not to overdo it, or you could experience a crash later in the day.

Calming Your Jitters

If you prepare for your first day, but you are still very nervous, then there are several tactics that you can try during the day to keep your nerves at bay. When you get a moment alone, consider some deep breathing exercises. By focusing on your breathing, you can decrease your heart rate and slow your racing thoughts. One of the easiest exercises to remember is the 4-7-8 method. This is where you inhale as you slowly count to four. Then, hold your breath for seven seconds. Finally, slowly exhale for eight seconds. Repeat that exercise until you feel better.


It is also a smart idea to use positive affirmations to build yourself up if you are feeling scared. Remind yourself that this employer hired you for a reason and that you are the best person for the job. Think about why you wanted this job in the first place and why it is your passion to do what you are doing. This little pep-talk can be key to rebuilding your confidence.


Finally, if you know yourself well enough to know that you will have jitters, then consider having a friend or family member on standby that you can call during a break. Talking to someone you trust for a few minutes can give you the confidence that you need to go back to work and take on the rest of your first day.


In the end, if you are nervous about your first day at work, then know that many people feel the same way. Consider the tips and advice described here, and you can start your new position with confidence.

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Content Contributor:

Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She is interested in better living through technology and education. She loves traveling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.