So you got the job… Well done! Celebrate your accomplishment – and don’t be too nervous about your first day, it’s a normal feeling, but you got the job for a reason!

What should I do on my first day?

There is nothing in particular to do on your first day. Often your manager will have a plan to introduce you, more formally called an induction, to your new place of work, role and colleagues.

Some tips for starting your new job:

  • Although it can be tiring and nerve-wracking, get involved in the social side of work from the start. Getting along with your colleagues always makes it easier to do the nine to five!
  • Just be your friendly self. It can be tiring at the beginning of a new job to get used to everything and get to know people or even be comfortable around them but be mindful of yourself. Rest when you need it and try to be as friendly as you can in work, but be yourself ­– friendly doesn’t mean you have to be constantly chatting!
  • Ask any questions you have – better you do that now than feel awkward asking them months, or years, into the job!

Having a bad day or even a bad week?

How you feel at work has a lot to do with perspective. Be open with your manager and co-workers about what you would like to do differently: maybe you would like the opportunity to manage a section of work. Focus on what attracted you to the job in the first place, try to remain positive. If you feel undervalued in your work, use your initiative, employers value this and it will make you happy. Sometimes, if the bad week is turning into a bad few months, maybe it is time to consider moving on. But remember the importance of a work-life balance and self-care.

What does a work-life balance look like?

  • Work hard while you’re at work, but once it is over do not be tempted by emails. Make sure you have a clear boundary.
  • Learn how to say no – you don’t need to give excuses or apologise, you are allowed to say no.
  • Figure out what works for you. Over time, you will learn what suits you as a healthy balance.
  • Manage your energy and respect your body when you’re tired.
  • Plan your personal time – and include some for fresh air!
  • Some jobs can be easier than others to maintain a work-life balance at, and often when we are younger and have summer jobs, we can get some of the most boring tasks but try to maintain a positive attitude and always keep your mental health and wellbeing as your priority.

What if I don’t like someone at work?

Nobody ever gets on with everyone at work all the time – that’s normal. But when you have a disagreement with someone or if you just don’t have anything in common, maintain a professional relationship. It is important to remain respectful and courteous. If it is something more serious, you may need to discuss your issue calmly and respectfully with your manager and consider how you proceed.

What should I wear to work?

Just ask! You can do this at the interview or in a call or by email once you get the job. If it’s the night before the first day and you haven’t found out, just wear something smart, dress as if you’re going to a nice restaurant during the day, and ask once you get in. Some retail places have uniforms or black-clothes only policies, some places do casual Fridays, so the best thing to do is ask.

Here are a few common dress codes broken down:

  • Business professional/formal: this is your traditional suit and tie office attire.
  • Business casual/smart casual: a step down from suits, this is usually a suit jacket and dark jeans or slacks/a skirt and a blouse with no tie. Make sure you’ve still got formal shoes on though!
  • Casual: this is your normal everyday clothes, just make sure they are clean, neat and appropriate and you’re good to go!
  • Uniform: some roles have specific work clothes that you should wear, for example: nurses or often shop assistants.

What next?

The rest is up to you – now it’s time for you to get out there and start using your passion to find what makes you happy! As said earlier, the path to suitable work is never simple or always easy, but you will get there slowly. It’s all part of the journey – just try to enjoy life!