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Your First Day on the Job

Written by Candice Stoliker, Career Educator, University of Toronto and Chelsea Mohler, M.Sc

Congratulations! You did it! You made it through the resume writing, the interviewing and the negotiating. Now it is time to get ready for your first day on the job.

The first day of any new position is a time of excitement, engagement and disorientation. This is your opportunity to get things started off right. Similar to starting a new course at university and college, the first few days are often about getting to know different procedures and getting a chance to meet your new colleagues. That said, sometimes people are thrown right into the thick of things so it is always good to be ready for anything!

Below are some suggestions for how to navigating your first few days on the job:

  1. Go in with an open mind and be ready to learn. Throughout the first few weeks get to know the workplace culture. Read up on the company and invite your colleagues to lunch. Set up meetings with people you will be working with, interview them on their roles and how they interact with you.
  1. Ask questions, lots of questions. You may have heard the saying “fake it till you make it” but that does not apply to this situation. Asking questions demonstrates your interest and ensures that you will be prepared for when the time comes to take on tasks solo. No one expects you to know everything in your first job, you learn and grow faster when you ask for help.
  1. Work hard and show up on time. This may sound like an obvious one but it is something important to keep in mind. Working hard and putting forth your best effort will undoubtedly set you up for success, and will be recognized by others. Even if this isn’t your dream job, and even if things are not working out as you imagined this is your first step to the next step and your professional reputation begins now.
  1. Find your balance. Setting boundaries at work is important to prevent burnout and to ensure that work stress does not keep you from other activities. Spending time with friends and family, taking time to cook and be active – these are all things that boost your ability to handle stress.

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Your First Day on the Job
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