Nightmare on First Day: Tips for Avoiding a Horror Story

EntryLevelLifeButton_C After all the interviews are done and you’ve been offered a job, there’s only one big thing left for you to do –  show up for your first day on the job. Yikes! Does the thought of your first day on the job send chills down your spine and make you want to scream? What if you get lost? Will you know anyone there? What if you do something embarrassing and everyone laughs?

The first day on the job is not anything to dread. Really. But, remember even though you got the job, your first day on the job says a lot about you, so be sure to always put your best foot forward. To help you make your first day a success, here are a few situations you could face, and tips on how you can handle them to avoid a first-day nightmare.
What if no one told you where to go? Instead of getting nervous because you don’t know where to report when you get to the office, just show up. When you arrive – and it’s always a good idea to arrive about 10-15 minutes early – check in with the administrative assistant at the front desk. Let them know you’re new and tell them you want to let your manager know you’re there. They will usually call your manager, who may give you directions or come welcome you themselves.

What if you’re thrown into projects you don’t understand? Some people think the first day on the job is just spent meeting new people and touring the workplace. That’s not always the case. Some employers may toss projects at you shortly after you arrive because they want to see your reaction and how you work under pressure. Face the assignment head on. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something or you need more clarification about the project’s details. This shows initiative and is a good sign that you’ll ask for direction when you need it rather than struggling.

What if you don’t hit it off with your co-workers? Your manager may want you to meet with each employee to learn who they are and what they do, and share information about yourself. It’s important to understand that you will meet people in the workplace who have outlooks and beliefs that might differ from your own. But, remember to be professional if your views differ from theirs. The work environment is not the right place to debate who is right or wrong. Instead, focus on learning your job and listening to peers to get details on projects and how best to complete them.

What if things turn negative? No matter what conversations arise or what tone they take, don’t talk negatively about past internships, employers, or co-workers. This can hurt your career, especially since you’ll spend a lot of time in the office around your co-workers. Instead, keep an upbeat attitude, setting the tone for a professional reputation.

Following these simple tips will help you make the most of your first day and help you have a good start to your new career. First days can be scary, but they don’t have to be a nightmare.


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