How To Handle the New Job Jitters
Are you stressed about starting the new job for which you have just been hired? What’s the best way to deal with the stress around making this big career change? There are several ways you can prepare to make this new job as successful as possible.
Remember that almost everyone has had a first day at a new job and has been nervous about meeting new people, working in a new facility, and taking on a new role. Even though it’s exciting, this first day can also be stressful. There are ways to minimize the new-job jitters and get off to a flying start. Let’s explore them now.
Learn What You Need to Know
There are certain basic computer and mobile device skills that employers expect their employees to have. Be sure yours are current. If there are specific job skills you’ll need for the new role, take the time to review the job description to make sure you know everything that you need to.
Prepare for Your First Day
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to get organized. If you have a checklist of everything you need to do for the first day of work and you checkoff (digitally or on paper) each item as you accomplish the task, you’ll lower your stress level.
Here are some of the things you’ll need to keep in mind:
Figure out what to wear. What you wore to the job interview may not be what you’ll wear to work. If you’re not sure about the company’s dress code, check in with the hiring manager about the appropriate dress code. Have outfits ready for your first week of work so that you don’t have to decide what to wear at the last minute.
Arrange commuting logistics. Have a plan in place for how you’re going to get to work, how long it will take to get there, and a back-up plan in case of commuting or transportation issues. Do a trial run during rush hour, especially if you live in a busy city, so that you can give yourself plenty of time to get there. Plan on arriving a little early the first day.
Plan for childcare. If you need childcare, elder care, or pet care, line up your caregiver and have emergency back-up plans for care providers. This is especially important when you have children who won’t be able to attend daycare or school on days that they are ill.
Get plenty of rest. As you head toward your start date, try to get into a good sleeping pattern. The more rested and refreshed you are, the easier it will be for you to assimilate all of the information that’s going to be thrown at you.
Make a second list. Once you’ve figure out a detailed plan for what you need do to get out of the house, make another list. This one should include everything you need to do to start Day One of your new job. Review the list the evening before, so you’re ready to go in the morning.
Planning and organizing in advance will enable you to focus on your new job, instead ofon all the details of your work/life balancing act.
The First Day
Attend a new job orientation. If you haven’t attended orientation before starting the job, you may participate in a new employee orientation to familiarize yourself with the company and its policies and procedures.
Be prepared to introduce yourself. You’ll probably be given a tour of the office and introduced to your new co-workers on your first day. In an informal workplace, you may end up having to introduce yourself. Here’s how to introduce yourself at a new job and how to make the best impression on your colleagues.
Have questions ready to ask. There’s a lot you’ll want to learn about your new employer and your role. Some of the information will be provided to you, but you may have to ask questions to learn everything you need to know. This can especially be the case when you’re working at a small organization without formal policies and procedures. Don’t ask everything you want to know at once; just be aware of what you should know and what you want to know. If you make a list, it can be that much easier to ask follow-up questions later.
The First Week and Beyond
Learn about the organization. Read and learn as much as possible about the company as you can. Review the company website, employee policies, and the employee handbook, if there is one. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, ask. It’s always better to ask than it is to guess, especially when you’re new.
Take notes. It can be hard to remember who’s who and who does which job. It’s perfectly acceptable to jot down notes (and questions) as you are getting oriented in your new role.
Watch, listen, and learn. Some of the best things you can do when starting a new position are to watch, listen to, and learn from your managers and colleagues. Even if you’re the new boss, take the time to understand how the organization works, why things are done the way they are, and how your team works before you start implementing changes.
Have fun! Even though starting a new job can be stressful, it’s also exciting. Immerse yourself in the company culture and do your best to have fun and enjoy your working life.
Review Do’s and Don’ts
Before you head out for your first day, review these do’s and don’ts for starting a new job so that you can have a successful start to this phase of your career. Try not stress too much. You’ll fit right in and be part of the team much sooner than you might expect.