10 July 2023
7 Dos and Dont’s For The Night Before Your First Job
So, all the hard work has paid off and you’ve landed your first job. It’s Sunday night and you’re understandably nervous.
Placements, internships and graduate jobs can be a stressful experiences, so you’ll want to focus on controlling those first-day nerves in order to make the most out of your time.
So what are our top tips for the all-important night before? Take a look…
- Do pick your favourite outfit
- Don’t go to bed too early
- Do set two alarms
- Don’t pack lunch
- Do come prepped with small talk
- Don’t plan to be on time
- Do prepare some questions in advance
1) Do pick your favourite outfit
Yes, it might seem a bit obvious, but how you feel 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.
Everything will seem new enough without adding another outfit to the mix. The last thing you need is to find that your new shoes give you blisters or your Egyptian cotton shirt actually turns out to be itchy.
2) Don’t go to bed 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 you 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 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.
4) Don’t pack lunch
Once you’re into the swing of things, 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 may want to take you out for lunch, or just show you the surrounding area.
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.
Don’t forget to pack a few snacks though. Nothing makes your first day worse than feeling 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 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 turn up at the office half an hour early. There might not even be anyone there to let you in!
Use the extra time to grab a coffee and calm your nerves so you can walk through the door feeling 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 questions and are ready to fire them 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 ask 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. That way, you’ll be able to set goals and manage expectations.
Graduate jobs are all about learning as much as possible, so it’s hugely important that you know who they’d like you to direct questions to, as you don’t want to constantly bother the wrong person.
Written by Louise
Since joining RateMyPlacement.co.uk in 2018, Louise has penned countless blogs and how-to guides, alongside award-winning campaigns that connect millions of students with top employers like Lidl, J.P. Morgan and Police Now. With seven years writing experience, Louise has previously covered everything from Wowcher vouchers to Ghanaian music festivals - making her more versatile than Vaseline.