How to Prepare for Your First Day at a New Job

woman entering a business

Even after completing the interview and landing the job, preparing for the first day in a new work environment can still be stressful for new employees. A good first day sets the tone for the way you interact with your coworkers, your attitude toward your career, and your overall experience.

At the JFC Staffing Companies, we’re in the business of connecting outstanding employees with their best-matched companies in the area. Part of this process involves helping our customers make a good first impression as a valuable new team member.

Here are five tips to help your first day of work go as smoothly as possible.

1. Research your Employer

While research is recommended as a part of the interview process to help you understand a company as much as possible, it is also important to keep learning as much as you can about the new company you’ll be working at. This research can range anywhere from a simple Google search to looking up what people are saying about the company on social media. You could even research the company’s competitors for more information about the business and  industry in general. Arming yourself with knowledge can be a great strategy in preparing for a successful first day.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. It can be tempting to avoid asking questions to appear confident and competent, but you don’t want to arrive on your first day confused. What is the dress code like at this new company? What is the parking situation like? When and how long are breaks?  If you are working remotely, there might be a wide variety of other questions you are curious about, so should ask.  Does the company prefer that you use Zoom, Teams, or something else?  Is there a company-wide background that is used for video meetings? Consider reaching out to the HR department or other employees for any clarification you might need to help you assimilate to your new environment quickly.  

3. Know Your Job Description

Being certain of all the duties your new job entails can give you a good idea of what is to be expected of you on a day-to-day basis and what your workload will be like. Consider returning to the original job post, or the original documents you were given and review the job description listed, so you can keep track of what your duties are. Additionally, consider reaching out and asking for an employee handbook if one has not already been provided for you. Not only will this give you a better grasp on what is expected of you as a new employee, but this will show your employer that you can take initiative and want to learn as much as you can.

4. Be Prepared

Starting a new job can be stressful enough, so you don’t want to be caught off-guard by anything that could negatively affect your first day of work. Before your first day, if you’re working on-site, consider driving your commute route during the normal time you’ll be taking to work to get a good sense of what the traffic will be like. Especially on your first day, you don’t want to be late because you were unfamiliar with how long the commute would take. If you’re working from home, make sure to test your Internet connection, any software you may have to use, or any other technology that could potentially pose a problem. Feeling secure with your equipment can help ease any anxiety related to the first day at a new job.

5. Be Personable

With a new job comes the opportunity to meet new people. Having a good relationship with your coworkers is essential, and it will be important to cultivate those relationships early on. Consider meeting your new team virtually before your first day by sending out a brief introductory e-mail, especially if your arrival has not yet been announced by your employer. You don’t have to go out of your way to stop by and have a full conversation with everyone on your first day, but don’t shy away from introducing yourself and participating in some small talk with those you do run into. Establishing yourself as a personable employee will help contribute to a healthy and positive work environment. If you utilize LinkedIn, connecting with new coworkers on that platform is another great way to get to know the people you’ll be working with.

Your first day at a new job is incredibly important, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. If you stay prepared and pay attention to what is expected of you, your first week is sure to run smoothly and ease you into a successful career.

We welcome you to contact the staffing experts at JFC for any questions you might have.