First Day of Work? 41 Tips to Soothe Anxiety & Help You Prepare

30 March 2022
new female hire on first day of work with blonde hair smiles and checks mobile device

Starting a new job can feel overwhelming, nerve-wracking and exciting all in one.

But with the right preparation and approach, you can be confident that your first day of work will go swimmingly. Consider it the start of your professional success.

How to prepare for your first day of work

Preparation is the key to success. Planning things out before your first day in your new job relieves any stress on your first morning and helps you walk into the office with a clear head.

Do your research

Before your first day, research the company so you’re well informed. Check out the information on their website and social media posts to further understand the industry and culture.

Contact your manager

Touch base with your manager prior to starting. Let them know that you’re looking forward to working with them and ask any questions you may have.

Confirm your schedule

Double-check the start time for your first day. Don’t assume that what’s in your contract is accurate. There may be an early meeting or induction on your first day.

Do a test run

Test run the commute before starting so you’re confident of the approximate time it will take. If you’ll be working from home, set up all the necessary technology and test it to ensure it all works.

Prepare your first day of work outfit

Choose an outfit that’s appropriate for the company and industry. Consider if it should be corporate or more relaxed. If a uniform is required, contact the necessary personnel to get this before starting.

Get a good night’s sleep

Waking up well-rested means that you’ll have a clear head and be fresh and ready to face the day ahead.

Prepare what to bring

Review onboarding and orientation materials

Familiarise yourself with any onboarding materials so that you know what to bring on your first day of work and what’s expected of you.

Ask questions prior to starting

If you’re unsure of anything prior to starting, contact your manager.

How to overcome first day of work nerves and anxiety

It’s totally normal to feel nervous about your first day at work, but with a little preparation, you can calm those butterflies.

Talk about how you’re feeling

Chatting with a trusted friend or family member about your concerns is a good way to clear your mind. Objective advice can help ease your nerves and put things into perspective.

Take time to prepare

Being prepared to walk into a new job is a great way to ease anxiety and increase confidence. Make a checklist for yourself so you can tick off all the things you need to do.

Plan something after work

Organise to do something that you enjoy after work. Exercise, a hobby or a catch-up with friends is a good way to release any end-of-day nerves and give you something to look forward to.

Control your expectations

Remember that you won’t learn everything in the first day, week or even month. It takes time to get to know your environment, role, and co-workers, so have realistic expectations.

Start the day with a good breakfast

Start the day well hydrated and eat a nutritious and filling breakfast to help you maintain focus and concentration.

Remember that you were hired for a reason

Avoid comparing yourself to others in the organisation and don’t doubt your abilities. You were hired because you’re capable and qualified to fulfil the role.

Prepare for introductions

Meeting your colleagues can feel a little intimidating but, with a bit of thought, it doesn’t have to be.

Plan your first day of work introduction

Be ready to share information about yourself if asked, or when you’re introduced to new colleagues. Consider a short explanation of your work history and your new role.

Find common ground

Chat to colleagues about your hobbies or interests. Finding some common ground or shared interests is a good foundation for building relationships.

Familiarise yourself with the team

Try to introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Engage in conversation and ask them about their role in the company and how you might work together.

First day at new job checklist for the actual starting day

Eat a good breakfast.
Take the time to consider what to wear and dress appropriately.
Double-check you have everything you need.
Aim to get to work at least 10 minutes early.
Take notes throughout the day to help you remember anything important.
Observe co-workers perform their duties so you can get a better understanding of their role.
Ask plenty of questions. The more you ask, the more you’ll learn.
Make a good first impression by being friendly.
Introduce yourself to as many people as possible.
Eat lunch with your co-workers to get to know them.
If you get invited to join in something, say yes.
Be enthusiastic.
Express a positive and keen attitude to learning and embracing your new role.
Confirm how your manager would like to communicate, whether it’s email, text or in person.
Establish what your manager expects of you within the first few months.
Establish how your success will be measured.
Be realistic with your first-day expectations.
Believe in yourself and your capabilities.
Accept that you’ll be on a steep learning curve.
Take stock of what you’ve learnt throughout the day.
Make note of any questions you need to ask tomorrow.
Meet with your manager to have a run-through of your first day.
Celebrate your first day by doing something you love.
Go to bed at a reasonable time so you’re fresh for day number two.
Checklist For Starting A New Job - First Day

Embrace your first day with confidence

Confidence and knowledge make every career ‘first’ easier. Education plays a huge role in that too. After all, a strong skill set and educational foundation put you first in line for opportunities.

Related Career Guides

The Top 25 Paying Jobs Without Degrees