Starting a New Job? How to Overcome the First-Day New Job Jitters

Some useful tips to face and conquer the first day new job jitters.

Some useful tips to face and conquer the first-day new job jitters. 

Being the “new kid in class” is always a little nerve-wracking, whether you’re 13 or 45, you can feel the new job jitters at first. Many people dread the first few days of a new job because everything, from the people and the environment to the position and the daily routine, is unfamiliar, and it can take a few weeks before feeling “settled.”

But skilled newbies know how to quickly ingratiate themselves with their new colleagues and establish themselves as a great addition to the team in a matter of days. Here are some tips for making those first few days more enjoyable and less stressful, while also making a good first impression with your new coworkers:

How to Conquer The New Job Jitters?

Prepare.

Part of the new job jitters that comes with starting a new job is 100% avoidable if you prepare ahead of time. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, have everything ready that you’ll need for the morning including your clothes, plan to wake up earlier than normal to account for traffic or the unexpected, eat a good breakfast… these common sense preparations will allow you to focus only on the job and getting to know your new colleagues.

Do your homework.

Before your first day, make sure you’ve done as much research as you can about the organization or institution you’ll be joining -- its structure, mission, and overall philosophy. You may be asked to provide feedback or even to come up with some questions and insights of your own during your first week, so you want to know as much as you can before actually starting in order to feel prepared if you’re put on the spot.

Ask questions.

Whether you’re looking for the copy room or having trouble accessing your email, don’t let the “newness” of everything throw you off. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Everyone was new once and knows what it’s like to feel a little lost on that first day. So, don't make it an addition to your new job jitters list, just ask the doubt and relax.

Take notes.

Your first few days at any new job are a real learning curve, and you’ll be taking in a lot of new information, from the mundane to the really important. Take notes so you don’t forget anything, and you can reference them when you have a question that comes up a few weeks or months down the line.  

Be friendly.

First impressions matter when starting a new job, and you want to build positive, collaborative relationships from the beginning. In other words, to eliminate the new job jitters, don’t be shy about approaching people you don’t know; don’t wait for them to come to you. Introduce yourself, ask what department they’re in, what their position is, or where they’re from. They’ll appreciate your interest and the friendly gesture, which can go a long way to establishing trust and a good rapport (both key things you need to have a good working relationship).

Listen and absorb.

You’re stepping into a new role, a new environment, and a new organization, and that means the first few days and weeks are going to be focused primarily on learning as much as you can in order to be successful in your position and thrive within the company. Make an effort to actively listen to everyone you come in contact with those first few days -- let them do most of the talking -- so that you can understand how the company works and where you will fit in.

Go to lunch.

You’ll likely be asked to lunch by colleagues or your boss for the first few days, but if not, don't feel the new job jitters at that time, or don’t hesitate to ask someone if they’d like to grab a bite with you. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about the company in a more casual, relaxed setting, and also build relationships with your new colleagues. Plus, you’ll give the impression that you’re open, friendly, and ready to become a part of the team.

Don’t criticize.

If part of your role is to improve things or change the status quo at your new employer, you may want to wait a few days before you start pointing out all the areas that need improvement. Ingratiate yourself with your coworkers first before letting loose with all of the problems you see in the company, or else they may end up feeling bombarded and hostile to any of your new ideas (no matter how beneficial they are to the company).

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