Humans are hardwired to be nervous when starting a new job. That anxiety goes back to our hunter-gatherer days, when we needed to protect ourselves in unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situations. While such isn't typically the case anymore, most of us still experience serious first-day jitters when starting a new job. If you follow some of these tips for your first day of work that women recently shared on the AskWomen forum on reddit, though, you may find the transition to be a little bit smoother and more manageable.
The first week, even few weeks, at a new job can be overwhelming. There are so many names and faces to memorize, new processes to learn, and you want to make a good impression on all your new coworkers while also impressing your boss. It's a lot to ask for. It's not unlike starting school or going on a first date. New territory leaves us on our toes with a heightened awareness, and we really don't want to make a mistake — like call our cubicle neighbor by the wrong name or accidentally walk into the men's bathroom. (Happened to a friend.)
People are going to cut you, as the newbie, some slack; but if you want your first day at a new job to go better than planned, here are 27 helpful tips from women, for women, on how to get through that first week.
1Ask For Help When Needed
Always be resourceful, but ask for help when needed, and do it sooner rather than later. If you've been on the job for four months and are just now asking where the stapler is, there's a problem.
2Don't Talk Too Much
Some of us do it out of nervousness or to fill an awkward silence. You're not responsible for carrying the whole conversation — speak up when you have something to say, and don't make yourself responsible for picking up all of the conversational slack.
3But Talk At Least A Little
Find the balance. People are going to want to hear from the newbie.
4Try Not To Pass Out
5Be Punctual, Meaning Early
You don't need to show up 45 minutes ahead of time; but an extra five or 10 minutes will make you look prepared and professional. Also, you might really need it.
6Know The Important Details Prior
If your first day is approaching and you still don't know who to report to, just ask HR. It's much better than showing up and saying, "I have no clue what I'm supposed to do."
7Come Prepared To Take Notes
This is a must, and it's a better alternative than your phone, which should be on silent and put away.
8Go With The Flow
Enjoy lunch, but not too much. Don't feel pressured by employees who try to get you to hang out longer than you feel you should. You're responsible for you, and abusing lunch will make you look bad. Especially in the beginning, you should be extra cautious.
Unless the dress code specifically calls for suits/dress suits, know you can dress professionally without needing something suit-ish. Dressing appropriately also means bringing a sweater just in case, and wearing shoes you've worn already and know are comfortable. Note: even ballet flats can leave blisters! Don't show up in a new pair and risk being in pain all day.
10Stash Feminine Products In Your Bag If You May Need Them
Asking for a bathroom break is up there around asking for help and asking for someone to tell you their name again. Don't be shy. You're human. You need to pee.
11Know Your Boundaries And Respect Them
This one is tough, because for many of us, we see our work friends more than anyone. Of course, it's tempting to get close, because it's natural. Be mindful of blending your professional life and personal life too much, though.
12Choose Your Words Wisely
When it doubt, leave it out. Remember you never know who can see your email, so why risk it? If you want to talk smack, do it after work with a friend or relative outside of your job.
13Think Of Other People
Remember: you have something to learn from everyone. Don't monopolize the conversation and make it all about you.
14Consider Your 401k Beforehand
If your employer offers a 401k, you'll probably know about it ahead of time. Come prepared with a plan and any questions you can think of.
15Get Their Names Again
There's one of you and several of them. Of course you'll forget names.
16Understand The Chain Of Command
Knowing who does what is a big plus. Try looking for it online first, and ask HR if you can't find what you need.
17Budget Extra Time
Don't assume you'll clock out at five o'clock on the dot. Starting a new job often means staying late because other people are fitting you in to their schedule.
18Get The Full Tour
Maybe your office isn't enormous, so this isn't as needed. But at the very least, you should know where to find specific coworkers, departments, supplies, the kitchen, and the bathrooms.
19Add Your Photo To Your Email
It always helps to put a name with a face. Email can be so formal — help your new coworkers get to know you a little bit better.
20Come Bearing Snacks
Everyone loves snacks. Show up with doughnuts or coffee, and you'll be everyone's new best friend.
22Never, Ever Gossip
Same as above. People know that if you'll talk about other people to them, you'll probably talk about them to other people, too. Be kind, always.
24Bring Government Documents, Etc.
HR will be impressed with your preparation, and it'll make the whole process go so much more smoothly.
25Respect All Degree Levels
This is really important. Don't get cocky just because you have a higher degree; similarly, don't feel like others are justified in speaking down to you just because you "only" have a BA. Everyone works hard and deserves respect, period.
26Be Courteous In The Kitchen
Common courtesy. Cooked broccoli and eggs are another one. Just say no.