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Starting work

Starting your first job can be exciting and overwhelming. Check out these tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Smiling man ready to start work with a city skyline behind him

Starting a new job could require some lifestyle changes

Some challenges or changes you might face include:

  • Needing to move house to be closer to work

  • Change in routine – working set hours and days each week

  • Learning a new set of rules, expectations and work etiquette

  • Having less structure but more responsibility and accountability

  • Fitting other aspects of your life around your work schedule

  • Finding balance between work and social life


Making the transition into work life more successful

Some things that can help:

Be confident – focus on your positives and strengths; you were hired as they thought you were the best person for the job
Set goals – what do you want to achieve in this new job? Where would you like to be in 1 year? How will you get there?
Create a support team – surround yourself with people who will support you through this new transition
Learn how to manage stress – look after yourself and find some strategies that work for you

Before your first day

Here are some things to find out before your first day:

Where is your job is located? It might be different to where your interview was. Work out transport and timing before your first day

Do you need tools or equipment? Find out what is provided or what you might need to bring along. Get what you need before your first day so you’re prepared

What should you wear? Is there a uniform or dress code? Dress appropriately – first impressions can count!

Who do you need to report to? Find out who to report to when you arrive on your first day

Tips for your first day of work

Starting work for the first time can be stressful.

Here are some preparation tips to help your first day go smoothly:

  • Take important documents with you – like your tax file number, emergency contact and bank details

  • Prepare lunch, snacks and a drink bottle – find out about facilities and nearby lunch options on your first day

  • Take a note pad and pen – record names, procedures, rules and tasks as this will help you remember important details

  • Be punctual – arrive a few minutes before your start time so you have time to find out where you’re meant to be and settle in

  • Be organised – use a diary to write down tasks, meetings and deadlines; learn how to manage your time throughout the day to meet expectations

  • Ask questions – this is your opportunity to learn and make sure you’re doing everything right

  • Listen carefully – listening lets you learn as much as possible; take on any advice or tips you can get from experienced workers

  • Stay focused – save social media and personal calls for your lunch break or after work

  • Ask for feedback – at the end of the day ask your employer how you went and if they have any advice or tips for day two!

"Your first job might not be your dream job, but it can be a stepping stone towards your career goals!"

If you would like individual online support to help you reach your work and study goals headspace Work and Study Online can help.

This content was last reviewed 14/02/2018

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