Think back to the last time you started work at a new place…
Did you swagger in, filled with confidence, suited and booted and ready to change the world?
Or did (even a very small part of) you feel nervous, unsure and even slightly panicked?
That first day at work, must-make-a-good-impression feeling creeps up on most of us at some point during our working lives.
So, next time a newbie is getting shown around your place, spare a second thought for the poor soul.
We’ve all been there.
Below, we’ve revealed that oh-so-awkward first day at work (thoughts and all) through the eyes of a worrier…
Rudely awoken by the screaming of an alarm clock…
7am already? Where did my eight hours go..?
Is this outfit too smart? It looked different last night… What the hell shall I wear? Is that toothpaste on the sleeve?
Breakfast? Nah – I’ll grab some on the way.
Please don’t be delayed…I promise I’ll never eat chocolate again if this train is not delayed. I promise I’ll start exercising more too. I promise I’ll give more…
…HOORAY it’s here!
It was a 50/50 chance though right? Not quite enough of a miracle to give up chocolate…
Wait – why have we stopped just outside the station?! I can literally see the platform…go…go…go!
I should have had breakfast.
I made it! Now, how to get into the building..? Is this the right door? It’s locked…I’m screwed. Oh, so you just go ahead and push the door…thanks kind stranger.
Not kind stranger, kind silently-judging-my-incapability-to-open-a-door new colleague…
Introduction time, look clever. No, look calm. Too many names…brain overload. What was that? Jake, Jack, Jark?
Well played…nice little joke about inability to remember everyone’s names. Classic.
So this is where I will be spending the next few years of my life…definitely did not need to buy an entire shelf-worth of pens.
Oh no, where’s Jake, Jack, Jark gone..? Should I be doing something? What are my orders? Awkward…
NOOO not the phone!
Do I pick up? What if it’s not for me? What’s the company name again? Ignore it…it will stop.
I really need the toilet…
Oh thank god, the boss is here! Jan! Over here, I’m over here! Stop waving so emphatically, you look weird. She was nicer in the interview…
So many forms. Why would they need to know that? It’s like I’m signing away my soul.
I should’ve asked about the toilet.
Did my stomach just gurgle? Did anyone hear? He definitely heard. Oh great!
Thanks so much for drawing attention to the orchestra in my stomach by offering me your half eaten bag of crisps. We will not be friends.
When does the work start?
Wonder where everyone eats. I hope someone offers to eat with me… Hallelujah! A friend, I’ve made a friend. Of course I will go to lunch with you!
Forget everything that happened earlier, we will be best friends forever!
Now show me this toilet.
Probably shouldn’t have had that Twix…or the foot-long Subway…Peer Pressure.
Must…eat kindly offered homemade muffins….so full, so dry, so chocolaty.
I don’t know what I was worried about. I’m totally on a roll. I can type so fast too, that must be impressive.
NO! Did my chair just make a farting noise..?
It wasn’t me!!!! Why is everyone averting their eyes? IT WAS THE CHAIR!
Thank god that’s blown over. He’s gone awfully quiet…why does everyone hate me? Jan looks mad. What have I done?
Jan’s a nice woman.
I wonder if you’re allowed on social media…
Woo! 5pm. I made it! Time to go home and celebrate, with a nice early night. Wait – why is no one leaving..?
Shall I leave..? CAN I leave..? Look busy, wait it out… So, I’ve now missed my train.
Oh now I can go…
Just a nice little 45 minute wait at the train station…
16 hours till it starts all over again…
Tomorrow I’ll be ready.
The moral of our slightly over-dramatic story?
First days are hard and you will be judged.
But all of those little mistakes and slip-ups that might play on your mind now, will be totally forgotten by the following week, when you’re settled in and loving your new job!
To get a little perspective, check out our recent blog 15 of the most hilarious employee fails. Now those lot really know how to cock-up in style!
Recruiter Pro Tip:
Starting a new job can certainly be really stressful, so if you’re involved in the new recruiting process – perhaps you’ve got a new colleague joining you or you’ve just hired a new employee – do try to make them feel welcome!
Firstly, make sure that your on-boarding process works from day one.
Secondly, make sure that your new employee feels like a real member of the team.
Thirdly, maintain those strategies to increase your staff retention in the long run.
If you’re starting a new job this week Good Luck!
I’m sure you’ll be fine!- Mark Wilkinson