How to Survive The First Week At Work

Photo by  rawpixel

Photo by rawpixel

Starting a new job is a stressful situation. Nerves are on edge. Energy is pumping - feeling of excitement but fear at the same time.  Thoughts race through your head…“Am I going to be ok? Will they like me? Will I understand the training?...” among others.

Yes - we have all been there.  And we all have gotten the jobs and worked through that week. Day by day, it did get a little easier and then you were a pro!  But every time we change jobs, that first week was dreaded!

Here are a few tips to help anyone who is going into a new job, how to survive the rush of emotions that the first week of work can bring.

Photo by  rawpixel

Photo by rawpixel

  1. OWN IT! - You applied for this job, you interviewed for this job.  You were chosen because you were the best candidate for the job. It was you and you alone as to why you were picked for the position, now go and own the skills and strengths that you brought to the table and make you and your new work team proud.

  2. BRING A NOTEBOOK AND PEN - Although most offices could provide you with it, it’s a nice way to be prepared and show the employer how interested you are in your new job, and that you are excited to learn.  Take notes during training if possible, and during meetings. This is important because you can review your notes later if you forget something. Your first few days of work will be information packed and it’s great to have notes to remind you of what was discussed.

  3. PUNCTUALITY - Being on time is never optional - it’s a must!  You should always be 5-10 mins early for a shift - to ensure that you are prepared for the day. Look at your schedule, if you have extra time before the shift starts, determine what you can complete and in what order. If you have an idea of what you have to accomplish at the start of the day, you can use your time more wisely. Make sure on the first day to ask again about the expected start and end of shift times, including breaks and lunch etc. This is to ensure no misunderstandings.

  4. ASK QUESTIONS - While you are in training, you have the full attention of the person who is training you, so be sure to ask them questions.  They want you to ask questions. They want to know you’re interested and really do want to learn. If you really don’t have a question, then repeat back to them what they said to show that you have an understanding of what they trained you in. (Then write the answers in your notebook. 😉)

  5. SEND A STATUS UPDATE - At the end of the week, send a quick note to your manager telling them how you felt your first week went.  This is useful as it shows that you like to communicate and ensures that you and your employer are on the same page. It also opens the floor up to the employer being able to provide you with feedback and possibly provide you with suggestions on how to keep improving.  Feedback is always good - don’t get defensive, we can all improve!

  6. BE FRIENDLY - As stressed as you might be the first week, keep in mind - first impressions are important. Smile, breathe, you are a likable person and you can rock this! Remember “Own It” - be yourself, have confidence in you and enjoy the opportunity to meet your team and enjoy the introductions.  Ask questions, write down their names and positions and when speaking with them, use their name often so that you will have a better chance of remembering it. This builds rapport and opens the doors of communication and lets your boss and co-workers know you are approachable and interested in being part of the team.


With these 6 tips, we hope that you're feeling a little better. It’s ok to be nervous! Just remember we have all been there - including your new employer as well.  But you were the best fit! Congratulations!

Drop us a line here at reachAbility sometime and let us know how your first week went and if you have any other useful tips to pass along to our friends!

Call or e-mail our Client Navigator to book a tour of reachAbility today!
1.902.429.5878 | navigator@reachability.org