There’s nothing quite as exciting as a new start, especially when it comes to the world of work. Perhaps you’ve been applying for months and have finally got yourself a new role, or you’ve not been enjoying work for a while and have got that change you wanted. Whatever your situation, it’s an exciting time but there’s also – naturally – a lot of nerves. In this post, I want to cover a few ways in which you can prepare for your first day of work and calm your worries beforehand.
Work out your commute (or how to use Zoom)
Before your first day, familiarise yourself with your route to work or how to use Zoom (or whichever meeting platform they use). This can calm nerves as you’ll feel more prepared as to how to get their or log on with no difficulty.
There are always things that could go wrong on your commute, even when you’re the CEO of a company – travel can affect you. As long as you’ve left in plenty of time and know where you’re heading, everything else is out of your hands and not your fault. Make sure to check travel updates when you wake up as you might have to adjust and leave a bit earlier.
With virtual first days – don’t panic if you can’t get onto the video calling platform. I’ve been using it for six months and I still get it wrong sometimes when it’s been a couple of days. Just make sure you’ve tried it beforehand and got the relevant things installed so you’re all set.
Relax the night before
To make sure you’re rested and well prepared for your first day, try to schedule a relaxing evening the night before. If you want to get some things prepared, like your bag or researching the commute, do this in the afternoon so the evening can be spent chilling and not stressing. Whether you want to watch TV, read a book or have a bath, leave some time for yourself and enjoy it before you start working.
If you’re feeling nervous before bed, try to avoid going on your phone or doing anything that will make your brain whir any more than it is. Read a book until you fall asleep or listen to a relaxing podcast.
Read industry news that morning
On your way to work, or before logging onto your first call, take a look at the news. It gives you something to talk about with your new colleagues and also demonstrates your knowledge of the industry and current affairs.
Ahead of starting too, if you’ve got the time, you could also research the company’s clients and see what has been in the news about them. Again, this just allows you to feel more in the loop with things that might get discussed on your first week and you can show how eager you are to learn.
Wear something comfortable
It’s always nice to dress smart but you want to make sure you’re not uncomfortable. It’s better to be wearing something that you feel happy and relaxed in than to be adjusting your too-tight shirt or pulling at your skirt or trousers all day.
If you’re working from your bedroom or dining table, make sure to wake up and get ready as if you were headed to the office – this can help with motivation too. You can read more tips for working efficiently from home here.
Put your phone away
Whether you’re in the office or working from home, it’s always best to keep your phone out of sight and out of mind. It can be too tempting to pick it up and start scrolling or replying to non-work related things but you don’t want to make a bad impression.
Don’t have your phone by your laptop while on video calls either – you can tell when someone’s eyes are drawn to something else on their desk!
Familiarise yourself with names
On a company website or LinkedIn, you might be able to find your co-workers and put a face to the name beforehand. This can help to settle your nerves by becoming familiar with faces and also help if you accidentally forget what the man’s name in the HR department was.
Using LinkedIn too, you can also find out a bit more about that colleague, you might find you have a shared connection or went to the same school. Knowing more about a company and its team isn’t just important in the application stages, you’ll want to show your knowledge and interest for the organisation all the way through your time there and LinkedIn is great for this. You can find more advice about using LinkedIn here.
So there you have a few tips of how to prepare for your first day at work, whether it’s virtual or heading into the office for the first time.
What would your advice be to anyone preparing for their first day at work?