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5 Ways to Beat Your First Day Jitters

student identity
Ashley Kim
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Published on July 23, 2015

Whether it’s your first day on the job or your first day at an internship, it can be nerve-wracking to be the new person. Walking into an office where everyone else knows each other and the lay of the land can make you feel even more anxious than trying to impress your boss.

Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Follow these tips for making your first day a success, and defeat those jitters!

1. Eat a stress-reducing breakfast

Some foods can help with reducing your stress levels. Start your day off with a breakfast that will help keep you calm. Incorporate whole grains and bananas, both of which help reduce stress. Skip the coffee and caffeinated drinks, which can make your anxiety worse, and go for a soothing herbal tea instead, like chamomile.

2. Keep a list of names

You will probably learn a ton of names on your first day in the office, and unless you have a great memory, you may have trouble remembering most of them. After someone makes an introduction, jot down their name, their job title if you know it and a small identifier to help you remember their face, if needed. The act of writing their name down will help commit it to memory, and you can refer back to the list after work to help you remember them all. Knowing people’s names and addressing them by it will make you seem impressive and personable.

3. Ask questions

You’ll have a million of them, and don’t be afraid to ask them all. You aren’t expected to know everything when you’re the new guy, but if you don’t ask at the beginning, it can be awkward when you have to ask a question down the line that you should already know the answer to. Being inquisitive shows that you’re interested and involved, and that is a good thing.

4. Dress to impress

Plan what you will wear on your first day of work a couple days ahead. Choose whatever outfit makes you feel the most confident and make sure it is dry cleaned, pressed or ironed, and do whatever else needs to happen for it to be ready to go on that first day. Don’t leave it until the last minute. Wearing something that makes you feel good will boost your mood and confidence throughout the day.

5. Pack a lunch

Do not skip lunch. There is nothing worse than hunger pangs and a growling stomach on your first day of work to make you self-conscious and anxious. Packing a lunch that isn’t too messy (don’t want to spill spaghetti sauce down your blouse on day one!) will allow you to eat with your coworkers in the break room. Having that time to socialize with your coworkers will help put you at ease. If your coworkers are going out to lunch, ditch your brown bag, and head out with them!

And above all, just remember that your talent landed you the job, and you were chosen out of all of the applicants to be there. Now get to work, and good luck!

Ashley Kim

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