First of all, you can never be fully prepared ;) The idea to this post came to me because yes: I have found a job! A real one, I’m a real grown-up now!;) I started writing this post some days before my first day at this new job. Cause I was stressing out: What if I don’t like my colleagues? What if they expect too much of me? What if I can’t do anything? I really felt the urge to prepare so I would have a great first day and first week! I came up with the following list that you might find useful if you’re in a similar position as me. The moment I am finishing this post, my first week is already over and I can reflect right away on the points I made.
This seems like the most obvious one, but it’s important! Make sure you’re mind is clear and you’re well rested to take in all the new information and be able to freshly present yourself to your colleagues. Also quite obviously: take a shower, make sure you smell and look fresh! But don’t go overboard on the perfume!;) I can suggest you to drink a cup of coffee before you leave in the morning to be properly awake. Unfortunately this planning first point already failed for! I was too nervous, so I couldn’t sleep at all! My eyes were swollen up a bit in the morning and I even felt feverish throughout the day. I could not have started my week worse!
Buy a good document organizer and a notebook
It shows your tidy and you probably need it quite often, you get to learn so much in the first few weeks so it’s important to stay organised and create some structure in all the information you’re getting. Also, bring a good pen and bring your (digital) agenda for appointments! This point actually worked well for me, I bought a cute (but professional) organizer and notebook at Hema and I had to use them a lot in the first week. There is so much information you get from everyone around you, I need to write it all down, otherwise you will really forget a lot!
Read read read
The more you already know about the company beforehand, the better impression you make on your first day. Also refreshing your mind about the work field you will be working in is always a good idea! Maybe you already have some first ideas that you can write down and can bring to the table when you’re a bit more settled into the job (you don’t want to come of as Mrs know-it-all on your first day so keep them for later). I can say this point is definitely true, but the information on the website of the company is often limited. And don’t expect to understand everything by your first day as well! I got a bit overwhelmed at first, but during the week I was able to make sense of it all more and more. And I think that learning process will continue for a long while! I do suggest following the news and trends among your workfield before you start. It’s always good to know what is going on around you!
Talk to your friends and family
Are they in a similar situation as you? Or were they in the past? How was their first day or week for them? You might learn from their mistakes or tips! I asked quite some people, unfortunately most didn’t have real tips. But they did manage to calm me down a little and reassure you cannot really prepare, but just have to let it come at you.
Make sure you know the dresscode of the company, pick out your outfit accordingly the day before (or even sooner, if you need to get some ironing done), this will prevent a lot of stress in the morning about what to wear. I asked about the dresscode when I signed my contract, it was informal! Only when talking with clients I have to dress up. Therefore I didn’t lay my outfit out the day before, but just pulled out whatever I felt like wearing on my first day (easy black blouse, jeans, flats and hair half-up!)
If you (like me) have to travel a bit before getting to your job, be sure to figure out the train/bus schedule beforehand or map out the route if you will be cycling to your work. You don’t want to come in late because you got lost or you missed your train or bus!
Last of all, just be positive! Don’t stress, they won’t expect miracles from you on your first day (not even first week). Be happy, you got a job! Congrats! Enjoy it and be sure to ask loads of questions, there are no stupid ones! :) I’m really enjoying my time at my new job so far, even though it’s still a bit scary!