How to handle your first day at work

You did it!

You got that job you applied for – all that application work, reviews and interview prep has all paid off and now you are starting your first day!

Feels awesome right? We are super happy for you!


First day nerves? Don’t worry – you’ve got this. Here are a few little tips to help you sail through that first day.

First impressions count

dress code

Yes they do! Show up early! Plan your outfit, morning routine and journey in advance. It all counts. If you’re late it will be remembered and sets the tone for the future. Do some research on the work place clothing – email them! Its OK to ask these things in advance.

Put your phone away!



Don’t spend the day constantly checking your phone. This gives an impression of being distracted and could disrupt others. Employers know that you need to be contactable in emergencies etc – but they have employed you to be productive. Don’t set an impression that you are easily distracted – it will be hard to shake that off!

Put it away!

Build relationships


This starts on your first day.  Don’t overshare – know your limits. Obviously there is a knack to this – think about these points before sharing:

  • Who’s listening to me (a boss, a client, a colleague or a friend)?
  • •Why am I sharing this? What’s the point?
  • •In this situation, would less be better?
  • •Does what I am sharing benefit my career or the quality of my work relationships?

Just remember: Don’t share too much upfront, avoid controversial topics, and save your personal calls for after work!

Take notes


Come prepared with a notebook and stationery (and who doesn’t like buying new stationery!)

From the moment you rock up – there will be names to remember, places to visit… Jot down notes as you meet with people. Don’t worry – you are not going to remember them all. You can reflect back later.




The employer’s view


Once Essex – Always Essex

Remember, Essex graduates continue to get exclusive personal support from our Employability and Careers Centre and graduate success stories make great blog posts, so keep in touch.

We’d love to hear from you.


Thanks to ChairOffice for the infographic.


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