First Year On The Job

Wow! You have achieved success in obtaining that first full-time job following graduation. You have overcome another hurdle to reaching your career goal, and yet new challenges lie ahead.  How do you ensure continued success in this new venture? 

What Do I Do To Prepare For The First Day?

If your job is in a different city or town then where you currently live, relocation will be necessary. Knowing that you have to seek out new accommodations, pack, unpack, settle in, and learn about your new town or city can create some sense of anxiety.  Building in plenty of time to complete these activities will reduce your stress considerably. Some important things to keep in mind when relocating for a new job include: knowing where your work is in relationship to where you might choose to live, the best traffic routes to work or buses to take, and the amenities available in the area.  Be sure to look into any moving or relocation support your new employer might offer.

Imagining life in your new job can be stressful.  Obtaining information on things such as the location of parking at work, whether parking passes are required, dress code, and employer identification cards will help to ensure your first day at work goes smoothly.

It’s The First Day And I’m Really Nervous!  Help!

It is very important to make a positive first impression on the first day of a new job.  Some suggestions to help achieve this positive first impression include:

  • Arrive a little early (10-15 minutes) or, at the very least, on time.
  • Remind yourself that you were hired because the employer felt you were the best candidate for the job.  This will help you appear confident.
  • Know the name of the person to whom you are to report to.
  • Introduce yourself as you meet new people upon your arrival.
  • Be open to learning by observing, asking questions, and taking notes.
  • Begin the process of setting up your communication links including voice mail and email accounts.
  • As you may not know about your office assignment, or whether you are sharing an office space, delay bringing in your favourite personal items to work.

How Do I Survive The First Week of a New Job?

Now that you have survived the first day, you want to continue to 'wow' your new employer and colleagues. In order to do this, you must: 

  • Continue to build your relationships with colleagues by learning their names and asking about their roles with the company or organization.
  • Learn about the most effective means of office communication.
  • Observe fellow employees to see protocols for breaks, lunches, and other office routines.
  • Be open to learning how to prioritize work during busy times and take initiative when it is less busy.
  • Meet with your supervisor at the end of your first week about job expectations and how you are achieving these.

How Do I Survive the First Year of a New Job?

Employment success for the long-term can be achieved if you:

  • Find out about performance reviews - when they occur as well as how to prepare for them.
  • Participate as a team player and contribute your ideas willingly.
  • Present a professional image through courteous interaction with colleagues, prompt response to phone calls and emails, and a positive and respectful attitude at work.
  • Admit and learn from your mistakes, including a willingness to offer solutions to rectify your errors.
  • Recognize that the internet is not private and should only be used in a professional manner.


Success during the first year in a new job can be achieved.  Planning, preparation, and a willingness to learn are key!