7 Dos and Dont’s for the Night before Your First Job

So, all of the hard work has paid off and you’ve landed your first job. It’s Sunday night and you’re understandably nervous.

Clearly the night before it is key to make sure you make all your preparations, placements, internships and graduate jobs can be a stressful experience and in the morning you’ll want to focus on controlling those first day nerves and getting out door on time and calm.

So what are our top tips for the all-important night before? Take a look…

1) Do pick your favourite outfit

Yes, it might seem a bit obvious, but the way you’re feeling about the way you look is key to first day confidence. It’s an attractive proposition to buy a new outfit especially for the first day so you’re feeling tip top, but you should stick with a safe old favourite.

You’ll know that you look and feel good in it, which is key to tackle those first day nerves, but more importantly the chances are you’ll know it’s comfortable. Everything will seem new enough without adding a new outfit to the mix and the last thing you need is to find your new shoes give you blisters or your Egyptian cotton shirt actually turns out to be itchy.

2) Don’t go to be too early

Yep, you read right. Of course you shouldn’t stay up all night, but the tendency to go to bed a lot earlier than you usually would could catch you out. The truth is if you try and completely change your body clock in one night, you might find that you can’t switch off and you’ll end up staying up even later than you usually would.

Go for a walk or get some light exercise and try to go to bed early enough so that you’ll get a good night’s sleep, but late enough that you’ll be in dreamland as soon as your head hits the pillow.

3) Do set up two alarms

Simple but effective, guard against any snoozing habits by setting another alarm ten minutes after your first. Even if you’re someone who is straight up at the first alarm, it’s always worth employing a failsafe just in case your phone runs out of charge or your alarm clock malfunctions.

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4) Don’t pack a lunch

That’s right, once you’re into the swing of things of course packed lunches are a great way to save money and stay healthy, especially on the entry-level salary of most graduate jobs. But first day lunch can be a great way to find out a bit more about your company and co-workers in a more informal setting. Your boss might want to take you out for lunch, or just show you the surrounding area. It’s a great opportunity to professionally network and find out more about the company.

Even if the lunch offer from your boss isn’t forthcoming, it’s a great opportunity to meet the people you sit next to in the office. Tell your desk-mate that the lunch is on you and it’s a great chance to find out about things they won’t tell you in the induction, like the latest office gossip, what your boss is really like or how often it’s OK to go make a coffee.

Don’t forget to pack a few snacks though. Nothing makes first day form filling worse than hunger pangs.

5) Do Come Prepped with small talk

Do your research. Take a look at your new boss or line manager online and see what their interests are. If you share any of them you now know you can bring them up in small talk and they’ll be engaged. Do a quick scan of the weekend’s news, sport, or celeb gossip to make sure that you’re up to date when it gets brought up in the standard first day co-worker small talk.

6) Don’t Plan to be on Time

Plan to be Early! We’re talking about half an hour early. It might seem like overkill but it’s so important not to be late on your first day and a half hour gives you ample catch up time if you run into traffic or travel delays.

If you don’t encounter any unexpected travel problems you probably don’t want to actually turn up at the office half an hour early, there might not even be anyone to let you in! Use the extra time to go grab a coffee and give yourself the time to calm your nerves to make sure you walk through the door prepared and confident.

7) Do Prepare some questions in advance

While your first day is all about listening and learning, it is important to make sure you’ve come prepared with a few question ready to fire at your new boss and co-workers. Spend some time thinking about what you want to learn about the company and what your role and goals will be while you’re working there.

Perhaps asked why the person before you left, as it’s a gentle way to find out what it was that they were doing right or wrong and so can help you set your goals and expectations. Graduate jobs are all about learning as much as possible, so it’s also hugely important that you know who they’d like you to direct questions to, as you don’t want to be constantly bothering the wrong person.