How to say "au revoir" to first day of work anxiety
Have a first day coming up? These tips are for you.
Being nervous on your first day of a new job is completely normal, and relatable to most! But we all want to look and act our best for first impressions, or at least hide the fact that we’re secretly worried about not fitting into our work pants after 6 months of Melbourne lockdown snacking.
So how do you overcome these first day nerves?
Firstly, put down your third cup of coffee for the morning. Breathe. Tell yourself you’ve got this, and that today's far more exciting than first-day-of-school jitters, where your mum made you wear your hair in pigtails and your socks pulled up past your knees. Or was this just my Year 7 experience? No?
Back to the coffee. There’s no need to overcompensate with caffeine, as it’ll likely worsen your anxiety. Rather, try and wake up a little bit before your usual alarm so you can give yourself extra time to feel prepared. Whether it be a 10-minute meditation, or listening to your favourite “pump up” playlist, find something that will make you feel ready to smash your first day.
10+ points to you if your pump-up playlist includes Lizzo- get that juice!
Approach your first day with a positive attitude. That cruel little voice in the back of your mind might be having a field day whispering to you about the “ifs” and “buts” of everything that could go wrong, but this is the time to believe in yourself! Your new boss hired you for a reason, and now is your time to shine.
A great tip from Payscale’s Kayla Kitamorn is how to remind yourself you're capable:
“Reread your cover letter, letters of recommendation, and other encouraging messages from friends, family, and coworkers. Also make a mental list of people who support you. When you get nervous, pause to remember all the reasons you’re going to be great. You got this.”
If you’re anything like me, you have to prepare every little detail the night before otherwise you’ll be laying in bed at 2:00am in the morning stressing about “what if I can’t find the right pair of socks tomorrow, and end up running late to work, or worse, look like I can’t dress myself properly!”. Put your favourite pair of liquorice printed socks out where you can find them tomorrow, and save the hours of stress. This will also help with my tip above about getting up a little bit earlier so you have time to relax and feel ready to seize the day- you’ll find it harder to not hit your snooze button if you’re running on less than six to eight hours of sleep.
Of course, once you beat the morning rush and have finally arrived at your brand-spanking new worksite, remember that your new team won’t expect you to be perfect at your job straight away. Keep in mind they’ve all been in your shoes at some point, so if you make a couple of mistakes here and there, they’ll understand!
If you do stumble upon a question or query, it’s important to not be afraid to speak up. Ever heard of the saying “no question is a dumb question”?
Unsure if you pressed the right button on the snazzy new computer? Or want to know what’s the best way to greet your new clients? Or even where the bathroom is because all the morning coffee has hit at once? Then ask away, it’s also a great way to break the ice with your new co-workers and get conversations flowing.
Don't forget to smile, and have a great day. Lizzo would be proud of you!