Beating the First Day Jitters

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Congratulations—You landed your dream job! And your first day is around the corner. You already know that first impressions are critical, and you know that you’ll need to bring your A game when you meet your coworkers and clients for the first time. So how can you make the most of your first day without giving in to a wave of nervous anxiety? How can you project true confidence and stay cool and collected both inside and out? Try these moves.

Take care of the little things far in advance.

If you’re like most new employees, you’ll dress for success during your first week or two at your new workplace. After that, you’ll wear whatever feels appropriate and comfortable. But for now, you’ll need to think carefully about how you’d like to present yourself. Get that decision out of the way early—don’t scramble around desperately at 6:00 am on your first day. While you’re at it, make sure you know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take to get there.

Get plenty of sleep.

Nervous energy can interfere with healthy sleep, and a lack of sleep can lead to a host of problems from clumsiness to distraction to poor short term memory. So do yourself a favor, and on the day before you start work, avoid caffeine and go to bed early. You can also engage in other sleep-promoting activities, like getting some exercise, eating healthy food, and not snacking too much right before bedtime.

Remember names.

Carry a notepad with you on your first day so you can write down some of the important details of the job that your boss and coworkers will share with you. Most important of all, you’ll want to remember the names of the people who you’ll meet throughout the day. This can be difficult when you’re nervous, but taking notes will help.

Ask anything and everything.

Never feel foolish asking questions on your first day. Get this out of the way now; when you’re new, nobody will expect you to know anything, and your curiosity will be welcome and appreciated. Over time, this will change, so take full advantage of your grace period and gather information like a sponge.

Be friendly, flexible, and forgiving.

Of course you should expect to be treated with respect in your new workplace, no matter your position or your level of experience. But you should also give the same respect in return. This may mean overlooking the gaffes and stumbles of others, being prepared for mistakes and delays as you’re entered into the system, and taking all minor hang-ups, hassles, and unexpected events in stride.

For more on how to make a great impression and fully enjoy your first day in a new workplace, turn to the Little Rock staffing and career management experts at CSS.

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