How To Survive Your First Week At A New Job

GG_BRIEMERY_28Congrats—you’ve landed a new job! While one of the toughest parts is behind you, entering the unknown is almost always a scary experience. But don’t worry: The pressures and challenges are a normal part of this new opportunity, and—like everything else in life—you’ll get through it! You may not fully adapt overnight, but with a little time and a few strategies, you’ll be ready to conquer each day with confidence. Below, check out some coping strategies for surviving your first week (or month) on the new job. And remember: You’ve got this!

Smile. Give yourself permission to be excitedafter all, you got the gig! Sure, things may get a bit chaotic or overwhelming from time to time, but that’s all part of the process. Try not to let first-week jitters cloud your personality—make a conscious effort to smile, say hello and show people that you want to be there!

Actively introduce yourself. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your new colleagues, so start getting to know them as soon as possible! Instead of sending introductory emails, walk over to people’s desks and talk to them for a moment. (Putting faces to emails is always beneficial on both ends!) Smile, show genuine interest and offer to help whenever you can. And be honest! Let people know that you’re still learning the ropes. You’ll probably be surprised to see how many of them want to help you out. Don’t forget: They were once in your shoes!

Ask questions. You’re not going to learn it all in one day (or one month, for that matter)—and that’s OK! Keep a running tab of your questions readily available so you know exactly what to ask when your colleagues have a free moment. Try to be mindful about who may best answer certain questions. 

Do whatever it takes to learn people’s names. Consider making a seating chart. Sketch a rough diagram of your office and insert names correspondingly as you meet co-workers. I’m horrible with names, but I did this during the first few weeks of my new job and it worked like a charm.

Come prepared. Many offices are stocked with supplies, but bringing a notepad, pen and phone charger is never a bad idea.

Dress appropriately. Make sure to ask your employer about the dress code, and then outfit yourself accordingly. Put some time and thought into your professional ensembles, as dressing too casually can make the wrong impression. You usually can’t go wrong with a pair of dress pants, a button-down blouse and heels (but save those 6-inch stilettos for the weekend). After you spend some time in your new work environment, you may find that you’re allowed to dress a bit more casually—but at the beginning, don’t take any chances.

Put down your phone. Constantly reaching for our phones—especially when we’re uncomfortable—is a bad habit that most of us need to break. Try to keep your phone out of reach so you’re not tempted to tune things out—you want to make a stellar first impression, right?

Relax. Understand that learning the ins and outs of a new position takes some serious patience. You’re not going to pick everything up right away, and you’ll get frustrated at times. Remember to relax, and to take deep breaths and mental breaks throughout the day. If you overextend yourself, you’ll be significantly less productive! I also recommend checking in with a loved one during a break—let him or her know how your first few days are going. Above all, keep your head up!

Copy by Arin Agase

Photography by Jessie Webster // See the full office tour here

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Author: Arin Agase

Chicago fashion + lifestyle blogger at Heart Of Chic | Fueled by hard work + deep-dish pizza | Glitter Guide + contributor | Follow her adventures on Instagram!