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Written by Abby Kohut   

As exciting as going back to work seems, it can also be a little bit of a daunting experience. It may even resemble your elementary school days - and I don't mean that you'll get to throw spitballs at the teacher. I do mean that you might have the case of the jitters leading up to your first day…

Starting a new job can be scary but it's also lots of fun! Just think about all the new people to meet, all the skills to learn and all of the success to enjoy. Here are some things you can do to make the transition less jitterful:

As you prepare for your first day of work, thoroughly research the company's website and key players. You should be particularly interested in a company's products, services, financials, and culture. During the first few weeks, learning about the who, what, where, why and how is the main responsibility, so any head start you have will be helpful. You may want to find other people in your network (via LinkedIn for example) that can tactfully give you more information about the company and the key players.

If you find the first few days overwhelming, reassure yourself that once you establish a new routine, you'll feel right at home. For this reason, if doubts arise as to whether or not this is the right job for you, allow yourself three full days of work at your new job before making any decisions. A new job needs to stretch and challenge you in order to grow your career.

It may be helpful to buy a new suit for the first day of your new job. New clothes boost your self confidence, and you need as much as you can muster for the first day jitters. A new briefcase or portfolio wouldn't hurt either. And, you should also plan your commute ahead of time. You don't want to be late on your first day.
If it's a larger company, you may want to request that business cards and technology be ready for your first day so that you can begin to schedule meetings with key players in the organization when you arrive. Perhaps these meetings can be scheduled ahead of time for you.

You may be permitted to come in several days before your start date to set up your new workspace and to meet several members of your team. This will make the actual first day so much easier. If you need to complete any paperwork, be sure that you bring it on your first day.

Consider re-reading the job description and the requirements for the job before your first day. You may already know what your first quarter goals are and if so, you can begin to develop your strategic plan and/or hone any skills that may be rusty.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Do not expect to move mountains during your first week. Starting off at a new organization makes you want to make changes quickly to ensure success. However, you should tread lightly and make every attempt to fit in to the team and blend in with the culture. Everyone has their eyes on you so while you should try to make a fast impact, many people and organizations find it difficult to accept change despite what it may appear like. The time will come for you to let your opinions be known, and you will sense when that is. Just like searching for a job, have patience and spend the time adapting to your new home. Then rev up your engine and enjoy the ride.
 
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!