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The Nest – Your First Day At A New Job

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jan 28, 2010 in Building Confidence, Career Path

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Winter is still going strong in the early months of the year, but maybe the new year has brought some good news and you are about to start a new job!

When birds create the foundations for a new stage in their lives, they take a lot of time to prepare. You may not need one or two weeks to gather the materials, but don’t underestimate! Nests keep the bird’s most precious possession safe: their eggs. For the time the bird lays and incubates its eggs and raises its young, the nest has to be solid and strong. The foundation for a new job has to be equally strong and you want to be careful to make the best first impression at the start!  

Leave home early in order to be on time. Factor in an extra 15 minutes in case you run into a traffic jam.

Take proper identification with you to fill out your new employee paperwork (if you have not already done so). This could include your passport, a driver’s license, social security card, green card or other authorization required to legally work in the US. Know what your exemptions are for tax purposes, and take emergency contact phone numbers for your file. Many companies offer direct salary deposit, and you can expedite that process by bringing a voided check or deposit slip with you to attach to the appropriate forms. If you need help filling out your forms, ask! Correctly filling out your new hire forms the first time will save you time and trouble later.

Dress professionally and appropriately for the company you are working for. (When in doubt, dress UP…not down.) Make sure your shoes are shined, your clothes are neat and pressed and that you don’t over-accessorize.

Smile, introduce yourself and treat everyone with respect. Saying please and thank you are the easiest ways to make people comfortable quickly.

Make sure you have some cash in case you need it. Trying to find a bank or a cash machine in a new neighborhood may not be the easiest thing on your first day.

You will be presented with a lot of new information the first few days. It will take time for it all to sink in. Don’t be afraid to ask questions…and be sure to take good notes. If you are invited to meetings to observe or participate, be careful not to jump in too quickly, but don’t be afraid to share comments and ideas if you are asked to.

Change is always difficult no matter how much you prepare. Realize that feelings of nervousness are expected and very common no matter your career level. You will likely miss your old, familiar surroundings. Rest assured, in a few days time, your new environment will become more comfortable and familiar to you. You will settle into your new routine, develop new friendships at your new company and still have the good relationships you developed at your former one.

This is your chance to start from scratch and build your solid nest from experience and preparation. First impressions are not only important but lasting. Make sure you do everything you can to set the tone you want to carry through this important step in your career. Make a comfortable nest for yourself by properly preparing for the first day, and weeks and that strong foundation will help you settle into your new job.



For more job search tips, please visit where you can find resources on interviewing, resume writing, and making a great first impression! Tips for your first day can also be found in the book Ten Steps to Finding the Perfect Job.

Carolyn Thompson


Lindsay Sellner


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