50% of workers had a bad experience in their first day on the job

Research has indicated that the first day of a new job can be traumatic for many people

Nearly 3,000 employees were surveyed as part of a study, and the results revealed that while many new staff members had a plan for their first day, things going wrong made that initial foray into a dream job a total nightmare.

Nearly 95 per cent of those who took part said that making a positive impression on colleagues was extremely important, and having confidence in their choice of outfit was vital. More than 80 per cent of employees surveyed said that wearing an appropriate outfit gave them a huge boost of confidence.

However, some people still reported making mistakes and selecting the wrong garments – being either under-dressed or overdressed. Other reported errors included getting lost and being late, bumping into a colleague’s vehicle in the staff car park, and nerves causing them to do or say something that they regretted. Some people starting a new job are so worried about how to get there, and how long to allow for the journey, that they do a test run before they even start the job. Getting stuck in traffic is a big fear for many people starting a new position.

Another fear is not having a desk to work at and not knowing where to go when they first arrive at an office. Others dread having to make tea and not knowing where the supplies are, or spilling hot drinks everywhere because they are anxious.

Many new staff members also worry that they will be introduced to co-workers and immediately forget their names. The fear of blurting out something inappropriate, saying something stupid or talking too much or too fast is also a concern for many employees beginning work in a new environment. Another common fear is not knowing how to turn on or operate equipment and then annoying colleagues by asking lots of obvious or stupid questions.

Those who deal well with their first day in a new job tend to have a plan. Being well prepared generally calms nerves and provides a framework that allows new employees to have a reasonably successful first day at a new job.

To alleviate anxiety, new employees should do their research and make sure that they know everything relevant to the new position, from what their duties are to how to get there and what the dress code is.

Being comfortable and feeling confident in what you are wearing helps to make that first day less stressful. Some employees have even wished that there was a uniform, as this would make dressing for that first day easier. It may be a good idea to visit the office before you start to note what people are wearing. Other tips for a rewarding first day include leaving extra time to get there, and if possible arriving early so that there is plenty of time to get settled in without eating into the work day. Preparing a list of intelligent questions beforehand can be useful too.

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