It starts with the day before preparation….
Personally, my first day was on a construction site as a graduate site engineer. Regardless of the location, having a good clear idea of travel plans and routes will help you feel at ease on your first day.
Being proactive and asking your new line manager/organisation via email/ phone what you need to bring, and what time you need to be in your place of work – it’s better to be clear on expectations on your first day.
Expect it to be exciting and a bit nerve-wracking but remember this is a moment to be proud of and to reflect on the hard work and commitment to getting your first job! High five!
So here is what to expect on your first day….
- Welcome induction: Your first day typically begins with an induction session. Normally a designated staff member will welcome you, introduce you to the workplace, and provide an overview of the organization’s culture, values, and policies – this is an opportunity to ask questions and have someone to refer to if you have any questions later in the coming weeks.
- Paperwork: Be prepared to complete various forms and paperwork related to your employment – most of this will be done electronically to check to see if you need to bring any identification documents and any other paperwork requested by HR.
- Workspace Setup: You’ll likely be shown to your workstation/area of work. Hot desking is a common way to work, so it’s important to understand the system to book your desk when in the workplace.
- IT / Tech Setup: This is key to getting started, be patient as you set up your computer, email, and any software or systems you’ll be using. Make sure to ask questions and take notes – this is time-consuming but an important step to get your IT system set up correctly.
- Meet and Greet Colleagues: Don’t be shy to say hello to people around you, you will meet lots of new colleagues, including team members and managers. Expect introductions and conversations to get to know your co-workers better, you won’t remember everyone’s name – smile and take it all in!
- Training and Onboarding: You may receive training or onboarding sessions specific to your role or department. Working on site meant I needed safety training and site induction the processes, and any tools on how the site operates. You’re not expected to know everything on your first day!
- Company Policies: You’ll receive information about company policies, including dress code, attendance, timekeeping, hybrid working terms and any specific rules or procedures that apply to your working environment.
- Lunchtime or Breaks: Do you take lunch from home or get something to eat locally? Either way, this is a great opportunity to socialize with colleagues and learn more about the workplace culture!
- Questions and Clarifications: Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification on anything that is unclear. It’s better to ask and gain understanding than to make assumptions.
- End-of-Day Debrief: At the end of the day, speak to your line manager to discuss how your first day went and look at the week ahead to manage both your and your line manager’s expectations – discuss any upcoming schedule and responsibilities, including what you should expect in the following days or weeks.
Remember that the first day is about getting acclimated to your new environment and starting to build relationships with your colleagues. It’s normal to have some first-day jitters, but with a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn, you’ll be well on your way to a successful start in your new job. Well done on your first day!