How to navigate the first day of your career.
So, it's the first day of your career..?
This is it. It’s 8:50am and you’re currently sat in the reception area of a company that just hired you with no idea what to expect. Starting out your career can be terrifying, but it’s also a really exciting moment – and you should be proud! You’re about to begin your journey into the working world and the opportunities and experiences you’ll gain over the next few years will be invaluable.
But how do you even begin to prepare for your first day? Here are some top tips:
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get into work. You don’t want to sprint into the building completely wind-swept and flustered on your first day! If you have some time a few days before, practice the commute so you have an idea of timings and what to expect.
Do your research.
You have likely spent a lot of time researching your new company during the interview stages, but I recommend having a quick read through any industry or company news just before your first day. Everything moves at full speed ahead in business, so it’s useful to keep on top of what your new company is up to. It can also act as a positive conversation starter and shows your passion for the role.
Think about the outfit.
I recommend choosing something comfortable and practical to wear on your first day. Dress codes vary depending on the company and industry so keep it simple. After a few days you’ll gage what style everyone tends to go for and you can start to develop your own within that :).
Oh, and don’t forget, on your first day you’re likely to have a photo taken for your new work pass – bring a hair brush!
These are SO important as first impressions are key - you’re in control of the impression you make. In the first few weeks, you’ll probably meet a lot of people and it can be overwhelming – but don’t worry! Remember, you were hired because the team really like you and believe you’re capable of the role. So just be yourself, remember to shake peoples hands, be polite and smile!
Also, it’s useful to write down everyone’s names and jobs as you meet them, it’ll act as a great prompt to avoid any awkward moments later down the line.
Get to know the office.
Whatever the environment of your new job, it can be confusing and stressful. It’s useful to spend your first few days getting to know your new laptop, new work phone, the printer, where to make the tea and where the loos are! There’s absolutely no harm in walking around and finding out where things are – the more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll start to feel. I’d also recommend asking colleagues where the best lunch spots are – they may even offer to take you there so it’s a good way to get to know the people you’ll be working with!
I recommended writing everything down, from people’s names to how to use systems. From this you can start to build a structure of what to do day-to-day. Your first few weeks may be fairly quiet or super busy. So, try and keep a list and plan your days. Have a look at some of our free resources to give you a good starting point.
As you meet people, it’s a good idea to start adding them on Linkedin (give it a few weeks so you’re settled). As you continue to learn more about your job, you’ll meet more people and start to build your network. It’s pretty crazy how quickly your network will grow, and the people you meet along the way will open up a lot more doors than you might expect.
Enjoy it and be proud :).
Getting a first job and starting your career is such a great achievement. Stay determined, learn as much as you can and enjoy it – it’s just the beginning!