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The Best Ways to Combat First Day Nerves

By: Aquent

LAST UPDATED: 07 June, 2023

Whatever the industry, starting a new job is a nerve-wracking experience for even the most experienced professionals. The impending new responsibilities, new people and new systems can cause a build-up of unnecessary anxiety before the start of your first day. This can often result in a less than perfect first impression that does not reflect your true personality or abilities. As some psychologists note: “although first impressions are notoriously prone to error, we just can’t stop ourselves from making them” – therefore we must be ready to ensure our first impressions are as positive and accurate as possible. 

So, what are the best ways to combat first day nerves and ensure you showcase your aptitude and potential on your very first day? 

Get a Good Night’s Sleep 

Getting a good night’s sleep is the foundation for a successful first day at work – or any day at work for that matter. Waking up fresh-faced and not sleep deprived will ensure you feel alert and ready to tackle the challenges you’ll face in your new role. If you usually struggle to drop off, avoid looking at your phone, TV or laptop screen for at least an hour before bed. 

Prepare in Advance 

Gather the things you’ll need before your first day so that you won’t be caught off guard when your early morning alarm goes off. It’s also a good idea to set out your outfit the night before to avoid having to search for something to wear in the morning. Yes, even if it's just a presentable top half! 

Ensure You Arrive on Time (Even When Working Remotely)

Don’t be late! There’s nothing worse than arriving flustered. For your first day, if you haven't before trialled the journey into your new place of work, leave extra time to ensure you arrive with time to spare. This won’t only give off the right impression, but it will give you time to compose yourself and combat those nerves you’re feeling. 

The same is true if you're starting a new job from home. There'll be even less understanding for being late to your first video call – it's not like you can blame the commute, is it? If it's just a case of plug-and-play, make sure you and your laptop are fully charged, with as stable an internet connection as your ISP can muster. Of course, there'll be more lenience if your first day is saved for getting all your new gadgets set up.

Read Over Important Documents 

Reading over the job description and any other documents that you’ve been sent relating to your new role is a good way to calm some of your nerves and remind yourself what you’ll likely be doing on a day-to-day basis. Remember that you’ve already got through the interviews so your new employers must be confident in your abilities to take on the role. 

Don’t Rush 

When you get to the (home)office on your first day, you might be feeling overwhelmed with the number of people you have to meet, processes you have to get your head around and literature you have to read. Although it might feel like a bit too much to fathom, taking your time and not rushing through any of the formalities will give you the chance to ask any questions and settle in properly.

Set achievable targets

Setting some achievable targets, such as introducing yourself to everyone on your team and familiarising yourself with protocols will help you to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. Just take it step by step and you’ll be sure to have a successful first day.

We ensure all of our talent at Aquent have everything they need before tackling the challenge of a new job. If your future career plans including working for some of the most creative brands, get in touch with us today!