5 Smart Habits That Make Starting a New Job Less Overwhelming
Here's what to expect at your new office—hopefully it'll alleviate some of those first-day jitters.
When you finally land your first job—or have your first day at a new job—you'll probably be an anxious mix of excitement and nerves. You'll want to know what exactly what to expect when you walk in the door. Here, we're mapping out what happens that first day—and first few weeks—with the help of Lindsey Pollak, a multigenerational workplace expert and author of New York Times bestseller Becoming the Boss. Pollak shares key tips for recent grads starting a new job—but it's advice that everyone can use.
1. Google your questions before running to your boss.
You'll have a lot of questions (and none of them are stupid!)—but you don't want to bother your boss if the answers are obvious. Instead, try to be as self-sufficient as possible and cover your bases: Check manuals or Google your questions first, then approach your boss with questions you either can't find the answer to, or want further explanations for based on information you already found.
2. Don't over-apologize for mistakes.
Everyone will make mistakes on the job—the trick to handling them is simple: apologize, own it, and offer a solution. Don't dwell on the slip, just move forward and be sure to avoid that mistake in the future.
3. Take (short) breaks.
When you're new to a position, it's easy to think you need to work 24/7 to prove yourself—but that's not the case. Short breaks will make you more productive, so take a walk around the block or a quick lunch away from your desk to give your brain a rest.
4. Write down everything.
Everyone will eventually find the best strategy for creating a to-do list, but to start, write everything down. Take a notebook everywhere you go (no, you don't look silly—you look healthily eager and respectful), and get all of the information and assignments down on paper so you can see your priorities in front of you and better organize the day.
5. Lean on your coworkers for help.
While your boss is a great resource, tap into your network when you're feeling overwhelmed or confused. Talk to deskmates, other coworkers, other managers in the company, old intern coordinators, and college advisors. Chances are, they can offer perspective, advice, and encouragement—then you won't have to worry about bugging your manager for every little thing.